A peek behind the curtains of Noble Hall

Noble Hall growing and getting ready. Photo by David Johnson.

Noble Hall growing and getting ready. Photo by David Johnson.

After the burning of Subway and the removal of Bob’s  in the 2014-15 school year, many were curious to know what WCU would do with the open space. Today, the new mixed-use facility/dorm, Noble Hall, is almost ready and come August will be able to receive it’s first tenants.

Noble Hall is blue printed to have 172 double rooms, 64 private rooms, and 11 resident assistant (RA) rooms with a total of 419 beds. Living rates for double rooms in Noble will be $2,875.00; $3,375 for single rooms and private rooms will be $3,077.00 per semester starting in the fall of 2016.

“The actual layout of the building is designed similar to to Balsam and Blue Ridge. If you are in a double room you’ll have your own bathroom. If you’re in a private room you’ll share a bathroom with another private room. Two people to a bathroom and two people to a shower,” explained assistant vice chancellor of Residential Living, Keith Corzine.

The building structure will have five floors with two entrance points that provide stairs vertical access to go up into the building.

The entrance ways will serve as offices for the RA’s on the first floor and other administration assigned to the building next semester.

“The design nickname we call them is knuckles , when the hallways change directions once you enter the building,” said Timothy Chapman, Director of Residential Facilities.

They’re also plans in the blueprint to put a new spin on the multipurpose rooms on each floor that will serve as living rooms and kitchens.

“The design of the multipurpose rooms is slightly different from those in Harrill and more of a spin off of Balsam and Blue Ridge, but you’re always confined to the layout of that particular building. However they will be a little more open than Balsam and Blue Ridge and their compact design of the kitchen and living room area,” Corzine said.

Noble was built for the amenities to be just as valued in quality as Balsam and Blue Ridge.

“Everything that is built on campus dorm-wise has to [meet] a certain standard and reasonable sustainable code, which means anything that’s put in the actual dorm, like appliances, has to be high in quality and sustainability, which we plan to do with Noble. The heating and cooling systems won’t be like at Harrill in green saving or geothermal use to provide comforts in the rooms,” explained Chapman.

The layout will allow the third floor to overlook the second floor if you’re in the study area or lobby area of the third floor.

“If you walk over to a balcony you can see the second floor lobby area because there’s no exterior balcony it’s all interior, so you got a glass window that runs all the way up, so the third floor can view what’s going on on the second floor if they wanted.It will provide a neat feature to the building,” said Chapman.

The 5-th floor will serve as the space for private rooms encompassed by the roof that give off a perception of an attic through the architecture of the building. The only downside of this floor is the limitations in public space from other floors.

Study rooms will be on every other floor at each end of the floors, and some study space in the living room and kitchen areas as well.

On the bottom level of Noble there will be dining options that haven’t yet all been finalized.

“We’re real close to finalizing the businesses coming to Noble’s bottom level, but it hasn’t been made official yet,” said Corzine.

The businesses that are penciled in as potential candidates for businesses and dining options on the lower level of Noble include Subway, Bobs, and Blackrock.

“The goal of the University is to get a popular restaurant that both faculty and students can enjoy and use their meal plans there as well by summer before students return in the fall ,” explained Corzine.

See what future residents and WCU students had to say about it.

As of now, Noble is open for students with different classifications,  from incoming freshman to returning students on campus.

“Our intent has always been to try to keep it as varied as we can with a representation from all classifications, freshman through senior. However, we anticipate that Noble will become popular as we assume it will be, so we plan on putting a cap on returning students so that freshman will have a chance to room in Noble before everything is gone. We’ve determined through current calculation of returning students living in Noble through room selection will make up 81.4%, with the remaining 20% to be opened and offered to incoming freshman,” said  Corzine.

Noble Hall will be a wet building that will not prohibit its residents over the age of 21 to have alcohol, but will enforce usual rules enforced by RAs and campus police on campus for violators who are under the age of 21.

“This is not a new issue for us regarding wet dorms on campus and alcohol rules being enforced through dorms that our varied in classifications from our true freshman dorms Benton and Albright that are clean dorms. If you’re not 21 then you run the risk of being dealt with through proper judicial codes,” said Corzine.

The challenge next year for Noble will be parking flexibility near the new dorm, as there won’t be parking remotely close in walking distance to Noble.

“There is a master plan to address this issue of parking. We’re one of the fortunate campuses to have flat surface parking available for students. However, I’ve heard a lot of suggestions for parking decks, but many don’t know that parking decks are extremely expensive to the point it can come to be $25,000 per parking space, so you can have millions upon millions of dollars in debt,” said Corzine.

Chapman confirmed that the plan to attack this issue is to determine the best parking spaces for commuters and residential students that best meet their needs.

“I’ve been impressed with some of the options that have been thrown out long term, but as far as Noble having limited parking, we’re answering this by knocking down the old faculty/staff apartments and providing 500 plus parking spaces to be available in the fall of 2016 to ease some of the on campus parking a bit,” Chapman said.