Trouble waking up in the morning? The Flats can fix that.


Andrew Linnabary

The Suites, Phase 2 of The Flats, will open in fall 2019.

Students living in the southeast section of The Flats residence hall often wake up to a natural alarm clock — one that sounds like hammering and drilling.

That’s the noise of The Suites, The Flats’ under-construction neighboring residence hall.

Flats residents said the construction began without warning or notice. Some students are annoyed. Some see it as progress.

“I had no idea,” said Isabella Lee, a psychology and dance junior and Flats resident. “I didn’t even know what that building was until someone was like, ‘Oh, it’s new dorms.’ I get there was a need for more dorms, but why didn’t they try to do it over the summer?”

The Kansas Board of Regents approved The Suites, Phase 2 of The Flats, in March. They are being billed as a lower-priced residence hall option and are set to open in fall of 2019.

Lee and other Flats residents said the construction — which begins as early as 7 a.m. and usually ends at 5 — has woken them up multiple times and made studying and working difficult.

“Good luck trying to take a quality nap,” Lee said. “It is super annoying when you’re trying to study, and you obviously want there to be quiet, and you constantly hear banging.”

Joshua Elouidor, sports management sophomore, said “hearing all that ruckus is disturbing,” especially in the morning.

“I know finals are coming up too, so people are trying to study and stuff, so it’s going to suck,” Elouidor said.

And there’s another thing that sucks about the construction, Elouidor said — the view.

“I’m just looking at a big old thing of wood, really,” Elouidor said. “I don’t really see the campus or anything.” From Eloudor’s balcony, the view is dominated by the plastic sheet-covered wooden skeleton of The Suites, which aesthetically and foundationally mimics The Flats.

Sociology sophomore Deshara Witherspoon said “right now [the building] is ugly,” but thinks “it will be decent when it’s completely done.”

Her roommate, biomedical engineering sophomore Janine Nunes, said the speed of how The Suites is being constructed is concerning.

“I just feel like since they build these so fast, like, it looks nice, but is everything actually quality?” Nunes said.

Not every student is upset about the construction. Gerard Wojtowicz — a Polish, freshman international student studying aerospace engineering — hasn’t been bothered by the noise or the view, he said.

“I honestly haven’t noticed any noise,” Wojtowicz said. “I don’t think that the view would be any nicer if there was nothing going on, because it’d be what, a hill and grass? They’re expanding, so that’s cool, and it doesn’t really bother me.”

Something else altogether about the construction bothers pre-med freshman Jordan Donovan — privacy.

“Sometimes, when you’re getting dressed, you wonder if [the construction workers are] looking in,” Donovan said. “Like if you forget to shut the blinds, you know?”

All of the student residents with rooms facing The Suites said the university never notified them about the construction before or after they moved in.

Scott Jensen, interim executive director for student life, said all students and staff were made aware of construction projects on Innovation Campus through “announcements put out by the university.”

“While the short period of construction may be frustrating, we welcome the growth to housing at WSU,” Jensen said in an email. “Flats residents on the other side will soon experience construction close to them as we welcome the YMCA and Wellness Center. We can’t grow our campus and increase what we offer students without some inconvenience. Students will soon get to enjoy new housing and an incredible new recreation and wellness facility.”

A month before move-in day last school year, WSU announced that university-owned Fairmount Towers residence hall would close. Before receiving the required state approval, WSU announced that the roughly 300 students who planned to live in Fairmount would be relocated to The Flats, a new, private apartment complex on Innovation Campus that was developed by a company owned in part by the chair of the board of regents, David Murfin. The Suites too is being developed by Murfin’s company.