Craig Hall gets a makeover

“The perfect place to live and learn,” as Craig Hall is advertised, will soon be a nicer place now that it’s under new ownership.

The hall, built nearly 40 years ago to provide housing for growing numbers of Chico State University students, was recently sold by Craig Hall Partners, LLC. The 172,000-square-foot hall located on West Third Street is now owned by three partners: Dan Menan, of Rancho Murieta, and Mark Carter and Ken Coit, both from Walnut Creek.

Menan, the managing partner, estimates that $2 million is needed to freshen up the facility. The new owners will spend $750,000 this summer alone on improvements that will include new carpeting in more than 200 suites. Menan also said that by August each student moving in will have new furniture, including mattresses, beds, desks and chairs.

Despite the expenditures, the room-and-board rates for fall 2003 are the same as they were in fall 2002. Currently, they range from $2,750 per person per semester for a four-person room to $3,950 for a private room.

The benefits of the renovations extend beyond the hall. Instead of purchasing materials from the Bay Area or Sacramento, “we intend to spend money locally, and will be utilizing local vendors,” Menan said.

Advertising will be a major focus of the new owners. The “biggest hurdle is that students don’t know Craig Hall exists,” Menan said.

Wills said that more freshmen enroll at Chico State than the university has space to accommodate in its residence halls. Because freshmen typically prefer residence-hall-type housing, Wills said "it’s certainly a big advantage to our students to have a high-quality Craig Hall as a backup."