Having their own space to live and study, particularly in their first two years of college, is critical, LeMascus said.
“This will help keep them on track toward successfully completing the program and graduating,” he said.
There are about 110 students in the honors college, he said, but many upperclassmen will choose to live in other housing on campus.
Reba-Davisson Hall was built in the 1970s, LeMascus said. Now, the screeching of saws can be heard and sawdust is thick in the air as crews work to rebuild the interior of the building with men's and women's wings, commons areas, new bathrooms, a cafe and a full kitchen.
One feature of the new hall will be individual and group tutoring rooms, LeMascus said. Another feature will be suites for resident mentors — people who have been through the honors program and are either in graduate school or well-advanced in the program. They will live in the dorm to offer tutoring and other help to younger students.
Bingham said after living in an older dorm this year, she's excited about the new space.
On a recent walk-through of the building, she stopped to examine a dorm room.
“I'm pretty excited about the size of those closets,” she said. “And the new bathrooms will be nice.”