Randall Hall is undergoing a change in the coming future as Keene State College tries to cut down operating expenses.
The college has been searching for ways to drop operating costs since 2015. The student population at that point was shrinking and dorms like Randall Hall were no longer needed by residential staff. The student population went from 5,000 to about 3,500 students, leaving a lot of empty rooms across campus. A 2016 Equinox article on the drop in students states that their plan was to close Monadnock Hall, Even after they closed Randall hall at the end of the 2016 spring semester. Closing Randall Hall and Monadnock Hall helped fill budget cut gaps.
Randall Hall has not hosted students since the spring of 2016. Colin Burdick, Construction Clerk of the Works at the KSC Physical Plant commented on the state of Randall Hall in an interview. “Conditions wise, Randall Hall is structurally sound. The college is looking at options for this parcel of land to either sell or lease.” Burdick also said that there are no plans to make Randall Hall a habitable dorm again. The Living and Learning Commons that opened in 2016 make the old hall inefficient and unnecessary. “[Keene State College] is actively trying to reduce operating costs and these two building[s] coming offline would certainly help achieve that.”
The Physical Plant is involved in the gathering of information for potential clients who may be interested in the land. Burdick said everything from floor plans, site plans, and estimated costs for demolition are available. Mentions of hazardous material abatement were also in Burdick’s statements, but what that hazardous material might be was left out.
Vice President for Finance and Administration, Nathalie Houder, said the college is reviewing strategic opportunities for the abandoned dorm in an email statement. She said that the college is “keeping in mind [the] goal to develop and maintain a financially sustainable organization.” Houder mentioned a “Master Planning” process currently taking place for all buildings across campus but did not provide details.
Randall Hall was able to host 248 co-ed residents in double rooms on four floors. Both Randall Hall and Monadnock Hall had received negative feedback on student surveys. The quality of life conditions were continuously reported low. The previously mentioned 2016 Equinox article also provided student insight. One student, who was living in Monadnock Hall at the time, said his dorm was not as nice as the other dorms, and he was hoping for a better housing situation the following year.