Jewel Cottage to be converted to student housing

Heath Hutcheson, Campus Carrier staff writer

Jewel Cottage, currently a guest cottage, will be converted into a student living area in the fall. Camille Schmied | Campus Carrier

Beginning in the fall, the Jewel Cottage will be converted into a student living area. The cottage contains eight rooms, a sitting area, a dining room, as well as a kitchen. The Francis Cottage will remain a guest cottage.

This change is due to a number of reasons, one being space as the Jewel Cottage contains significantly more space than Francis, but the primary reason is the recent severe weather that occurred over winter break. 

“During Winter break there was bad weather, and a pipe burst in one of the common areas of Jewel, so there was going to be work done there anyway,” Stephen Swieton, Assistant Director of Residence Life, said. “So, it just made sense that considering the projections for the admission numbers for fall, that using the cottage as a living area would be helpful to give us a little more wiggle room.” 

“There used to be carpet in all of the rooms, but they now have LVP flooring,” Cora Gartrell, Manager at the guest cottages, said. “In the kitchen, dining room, and front office, there was no ceiling, and all the beams were exposed. Since they had previously discussed converting the cottage into a student living area, that was when they made the decision.”

Due to the recent unanticipated damage done within the cottage, the process of getting it ready for students has already gone underway. Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring will be easier to clean and maintain and also easier to repair or replace in case of flooding. 

“The conversion is happening now,” Swieton said. “Currently, work is being done finishing what needs to be done from the winter weather event and the furniture gets delivered on April 18th. We will not be using it over the summer and will begin in the fall.”

The conversion is not necessarily confirmed to be a permanent one, as it’s only been offered to students for one semester, primarily seniors and the spots have allegedly been filled.

“Currently, their intention is to offer the living area to students who will graduate in December so they would only be living in the cottage for the fall semester, and then we would hope that they would go back to being guest cottages in the Spring,” Gartrell said. “From what I heard, the people that were offered to live here seemed very enthusiastic about it.” 

Each of the individual rooms inside the cottage are named for benefactors and significant historical figures who have contributed to Berry in the past. The cottage itself is named after Jewel Brooks Milner, who supplied most of the furnishings.

“Currently, we have no intention of changing the names for the rooms. The only difference is that if a student is assigned to a certain room, instead of being given a number like they would anywhere else, in this case the room will be referred to by its name,” Swieton said.

Regarding management, this decision seems as though it will not heavily alter many position responsibilities for residence life staff.

“As for management, the only thing that will change is one of the cottage RA’s for the first semester will have an additional cottage meaning 12 additional residents, but that’s not necessarily irregular because we’ve been adding and subtracting cottages for the last few years,” Swieton said.

Though this recent change has been a sudden and surprising one for some, many have high hopes for the benefits it will bring for residence life as well as the students living there.

“It has certainly been a process, but I’m excited for there to be people living in here,” Gartrell said.

One thought on “Jewel Cottage to be converted to student housing

  1. So the only Guest Cottage on the Log Cabin Campus will be Frances which can hold how many guests?

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