University of Redlands has thirteen housing facilities filled with amenities and featuring different community environments, so what’s all the buzz about Anderson Hall? Why has it been the focus of students and social media promotions alike?
After being shut down during the 2022-2023 academic year, the hall has been reopened to students, fully renovated inside and out. Anderson Hall, the largest dorm on campus with a capacity of 208 students, has finally gotten the glow-up students have been waiting for.
Five students were interviewed by The Redlands Bulldog to find out what’s so different about this newly renovated building.
A drastic change can be spotted with the appearance of the building inside and out. Among those interviewed, David Huggins ‘26 called Anderson Hall “pretty modern” while Jalena Harris ‘26 said it is “remarkably better.”
When asked about their favorite added feature, the students almost unanimously picked air conditioning. Anderson Hall, though housing one of the largest number of students, was one of the last halls to have air conditioning units installed. Emma Boyd ‘26 commented, “I feel like [air conditioning] is a really nice factor especially because it’s been a little bit warm recently. A true upgrade from last year.”
The air conditioning isn’t the only update to Anderson though, as pointed out by Chris Brady ‘25. His favorite renovated feature was the updated breezeway. Unlike the original design, an open walkway connecting the upper levels of Anderson, the renovated breezeway has air conditioning, lots of tables, and a window with a view. It’s a favorite study space for students such as Brady.
Another common area that received major renovations was the kitchen. “We have more than one kitchen and community sink. It’s really easy for [multiple people] to be cooking up food or just cleaning some stuff. It’s a step above the rest of the dorms,” Caesar Diazgopar ’26 said.
The upgrades have undeniably improved the sense of community in Anderson Hall, according to Brady, who also shared that he used to visit Anderson before it was shut down and he never saw many people using the common areas. Now, however, he sees people there often.
“Whenever I’m walking through the main lobby area I’m always sure that there’s going to be people playing pool down there or just doing homework by the fireplace. Same thing with the basement. People go down there to play ping pong a lot and cook,” Brady said.
The same sentiment is shared by both Boyd and Diazgopar. Boyd said that the atmosphere is “a lot more chill” while Diaz applauded the overall changes. “The improvements at Anderson have definitely benefited the community. I really wish other people could have similar resources or spaces like that,” Diazgopar said.
Despite these raving reviews, the renovations at Anderson Hall are not complete. Boyd shared that, while the common areas have been refinished and the hall redone, “I have Facilities people coming in and out of our room. My AC leaks a little bit, but we also don’t have a vent [in our bathroom].”
So though Anderson Hall has been spiffed up and fully equipped with amenities, students are dealing with constant tweaks and changes within their rooms and in the hall.
Boyd informed that a downside of the rooms, though big enough “to have your own space to yourself,” was a lack of storage. The tradeoff to having less of it, however, was more space to customize the room. Boyd and her roommate, in the absence of additional storage, repurposed a shoe rack into a snack shelf, which they keep sitting against an empty wall in the room.
The last question asked to each student interviewed was, “Would you recommend living in Anderson to other students?”
Even after having had the entire interview to reflect on their experiences thus far in Anderson Hall, each student gave the same answer; “yes.” When asked why though, five distinctive reasons came up. “Clean,” “big,” “modern,” “new,” and “better.” These five words encompass the transformation of Anderson Hall. Though still on the road to being fully renovated, it has been transformed into a living space that is enjoyable for students in their own rooms and in shared areas.
Photos by Eleanor Bachmeier.