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Tall Hall nears completion for partial Fall 2018 opening

After over a year of construction, Tall Hall is finally almost complete.

The 10-story residence hall will contain 610 upperclassmen rooms and will contain almost every style of housing available at Belmont, from single-bedroom suites to 5-bedroom apartments.  

Rumors have been circulating campus about a penthouse on the top floor, but Residence Life Director Anthony Donovan wants students to know the larger top-floor apartment is not a penthouse, and was created largely to make the most of the space the building had, he said. There wasn’t enough space to put another apartment on the top floor of rooms Tall Hall, so instead, Belmont decided to take the room and split it across two floors. Two of the bedrooms in this apartment are on the tenth floor, while the other two rooms are located in the very top of Tall Hall alongside some of the building’s mechanical equipment, Donovan said. This apartment will contain living rooms on both of its floors along with two bathrooms and a staircase to connect the floors. This apartment will be slightly bigger than the others due to its unique placement, and because of this, it will be priced higher than the building’s other apartments at $5,500.

This isn’t the building’s only unique feature. Tall Hall will also contain single bedroom suites for the first time, largely because most Belmont students have never had to share a room before attending college, Donovan said. “Our needs have really been maximizing space, so doubles made a lot more sense in terms of getting us to a place where we could have an adequate amount of housing,” he said. “A single room actually worked pretty well in the footprint of the building.” “That’s different than anything we’ve had before. I think students will be really excited about it,” The majority of the building is made up of four and five-bedroom apartments similar in size to apartments in Dickens and Horrell halls. While the size and layout are largely similar to Belmont’s other rooms, the university made some changes to the residence hall furniture, designed with Donovan’s help. “One of my goals since I’ve been here has been to give students the ability to sort of configure a room in their sort of way. Give them as many possibilities as possible to arrange their room in a lot of different ways,” Donovan said.

“We’re trying something a little bit different, and it worked out really well for this new building, even though we were thinking about this before this building got figured out.” The new furniture is modular, meaning it’s designed to be picked up and structured in whatever way best fits the student’s needs. The new designs will feature several new pieces of furniture, including movable desks, open-faced wardrobes, an ottoman and a chair with internal storage.

Apartments in the new complex will also feature sectional couches which split into individual sections. As many of the apartments in Tall Hall vary in layout, redesigning the couches allows students to arrange their sofa however best fits their specific space, Donovan said. Students will also be able to purchase bed rails, whiteboard bed rails and hanging whiteboards in the Belmont Marketplace to attach to the new furniture, Donovan said.

Belmont junior Iris Konstant hopes to move into Tall Hall for her senior year, mostly because of the view of the city from the top of the building. “I’m an aesthetic person. Like, I like nice looking things, and I’d heard the view from Tall Hall was really nice,” she said. She appreciates the new designs of many of the old pieces of furniture, especially the open-faced wardrobes. “I like the open wardrobes, because the wardrobes we have now are really loud, and I usually come back really late at night, and I feel like I’m annoying my roommates when I open my wardrobe,” she said. A worry for many students surrounding Tall Hall is a possible lack of parking. Unlike Dickens and Thrailkill Halls, Tall Hall will not have an attached parking garage, leaving many students worried there won’t be enough parking on that side of campus. “Dickens and Horrell are usually pretty full already,” Konstant said. “I’ve had to go down to third floor parking. That actually might be a concern.”

While Donovan acknowledges students concerns, with some readjusting of current parking arrangements, students should all be able to find parking close to the hall they’re living in.

“Not just Residence Life, but Campus Security and other university departments have looked really closely at the parking situation over in that area and have continued to watch some patterns that have emerged over the last several years, where probably because of the ease in use of other opportunities for transportation, not only are freshmen bringing fewer and fewer cars, but upperclassmen as a whole have brought fewer cars,” he said. “Parking will not probably be as easy as it is now in that area, but it should be adequate to the number of people that are in that area with some changes to relocating some people.”

Tall Hall will also contain a road connecting the Dickens Hall garage to the Hillside entrance to campus, meaning students will no longer need to use the Dickens access road to enter the Dickens garage, said Donovan.

Inside Tall Hall

The building will also contain a fitness studio modeled after those in apartment complexes across the country. It will contain cardio equipment like treadmills and ellipticals. If you’re looking to use free weights, you’ll still have to make the trek to the Fitness and Recreation center, but for anyone looking to get in some quick cardio, this fitness studio will do the trick.

Keeping in line with residence halls like Dickens and Russell, Tall Hall will also contain a communal laundry facility, with more washers and dryers than Patton Hall, which service the same number of students as Tall Hall combined.

While there’s plenty left to do before Tall Hall is complete, the suite-style half is slated to open in August, with the apartment-style half opening shortly after January of 2019.

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Photos by Zach Gilchriest.

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