Western Michigan University recently announced that it would be demolishing the Valley residence halls to further renovate and update the previously outdated part of campus, eventually replacing the dorms with absolutely nothing.
Initially, it was thought that the university would replace the 12 infamous residence halls with new and flashy living spaces like the Western Heights that opened in 2015, but WMU spun those expectations around by saying they plan on leaving the space left vacant from the Valleys with zilch.
“Let’s be honest here the Valleys are, and always have been an eyesore,” said Travis Schmidt, WMU director of planning, space management and capital projects. “If we built new residence halls in their place those would only get outdated eventually as well; there are other things we could waste the students’ money on.”
For the last several generations of WMU students, the Valleys have held the reputation as old, stagnant buildings that provided extremely subpar living conditions, but students in denial pictured their time there as an experience that “built character.” So, when students who currently live in Western’s ghetto found out about the future plans, they nearly broke down in tears.
“Oh my god, this is the best news I’ve heard all year,” said Chris Thompson, a freshman living in Valley III. “I’ve been trying to play this cool character all year, but I have to be honest, I can’t believe my parents are paying several thousand dollars a year for me to live in this hell hole.”
Demolition of the Valleys is expected to begin in the spring, but when poised with the question of where future students will live when all the halls are gone WMU gave a simple answer, they’ll figure it out later.
The university considered putting the displaced students in tents, digging holes and placing tarps over the top, but in the end they gave up because they figured most students wouldn’t care anyways.
“The only people that care are the students that will be freshman in, like, three years,” Schmidt said. “By then [we] will probably have something figured out and, if not, well whatever. That tent idea might work if we knock like $100 off room and board.”
Regardless of what happens in the future, everyone is excited to see the Valleys go. Plus, since Western isn’t planning on doing anything with the vacant space, there will be several million dollars in surplus for the university to be able to play with.
And by play, they mean play.
“I think we are going to try to fill an entire swimming pool with money,” Schmidt said. “We all remember Scrooge McDuck diving headfirst into his riches and, well dammit, that’s what we want to do.”
It is safe to say that the future of the Valleys will be much like your budget after paying tuition: nothing.