Western Courier

Tanner Hall to be taken offline starting the next academic year

Tanner+Hall+located+on+the+northeast+end+of+campus+is+scheduled+to+go+offline%0Aif+enrollment+remains+low+starting+fall+2019.
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Tanner Hall to be taken offline starting the next academic year

Tanner Hall located on the northeast end of campus is scheduled to go offline
if enrollment remains low starting fall 2019.

Tanner Hall located on the northeast end of campus is scheduled to go offline if enrollment remains low starting fall 2019.

Sara Remar/ Assistant Photo Editor

Tanner Hall located on the northeast end of campus is scheduled to go offline if enrollment remains low starting fall 2019.

Sara Remar/ Assistant Photo Editor

Sara Remar/ Assistant Photo Editor

Tanner Hall located on the northeast end of campus is scheduled to go offline if enrollment remains low starting fall 2019.

Marc Ramirez, News editor

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Wednesday Oct. 3, Director of Residence Life at University Housing and Dining Services Michelle Oaks sent out an email to residence assistants announcing the offline status that Tanner Hall will take at the beginning of the new academic year based on the current state of enrollment.

Tanner Hall is a co-ed first year residence hall to freshman, which houses about 800 students and first opened its doors in 1968. Tanner also has a U-Tech computer lab, Tanner Circle common area and the Tanner Hall Convenience Store. In 2015, the lobby and front desk area of the building underwent a $100,000 renovation.

Starting Fall 2019, 740 W University Drive will no longer be the mailing address of hundreds of students attending Western Illinois University.According to Oaks, this decision was made to give Tanner time to be reviewed and for the building to be reevaluated for the time being.

“We will be consolidating empty floors and this will allow us plenty of space to accommodate all residents who want/need to live with us,” Oaks said in an email addressed to the resident assistant staff.

It was also addressed in the email that no resident assistant will be out of a job. All previous staff will be eligible for rehire and will be moved around different residence halls accordingly. Professional hall staff, such as assistant complex directors, on the other hand will no longer be employed through Western.

However, this decision is saving the University around $30 million in deferred maintenance costs according to a facilities assessment done in 2008 as outlined in an email from University Relations. The school will also save on building utilities.

According to Darcie Shinberger of University Relations, the closing of Tanner is dependent on the enrollment rate of incoming freshman next year.

“This is currently still in the discussion phase among University leadership,” Shinberger said. “When enrollment increases, and residence hall housing is needed for new freshmen, Tanner could likely reopen. If enrollment remains at its current level, all new freshmen students will be housed in Bayliss/Henninger halls.”

Tanner is well known around the Western community due to its capstone fundraiser St. Baldrick’s. The annual event held to raise money for children’s cancer has been a huge part of Tanner’s legacy and will soon be absorbed similar to that of Club Wetzel and Haunted Housing. People came to Tanner Hall to get their head shaved, volunteer their time or donate money to the cause.

“St. Baldrick’s will likely be absorbed by one of our student groups, and done in a partnership this year with North Quad to make the transition,” Oak said in an email.

The Western Courier has contacted Complex Director of North Quad Jailyn Stevenson and she didn’t wish to comment on the news and referred reporters to contact Shinberger at University Relations. Reporters have also tried to reach UDHS staff via phone call and no calls have been returned.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Tanner Hall to be taken offline starting the next academic year