It was just 16 months ago Wichita State University announced plans to build a new multi-million dollar residence hall. Now the big move-in is just days away.

"Just being able to live here, if I were a freshman, this would be the deciding factor," said Tracy Saffell, a student resident assistant who's already moved into her room at Shocker Hall.

Her sentiments about the new residence hall are exactly what Wichita State hopes to hear about it's new dorm.

"It feels great, it's big, it's new," said Saffell. "It has that new smell!"

"The students and the parents have just been like, 'we love this place!'" said Steve Larson, Wichita State's Director of Residence Life.

Shocker Hall has a lot of firsts behind that reaction.

"The first time, you know, we'll really have a residence hall that's well and truly located on central campus," said Larson.

Not to mention the first dorm at Wichita State with a suite set-up, with Wi-Fi throughout the building, with a full kitchen on every floor.

Then, there's all that space, in every room, complimented by floor to ceiling windows.

And there's a cafeteria with choices from around the world that can accommodate most eating concerns.

"It'll be made to order stations, international station, a grille station, brick oven pizza," Larson said about the options students will have for eating everyday.

Every detail carefully planned out, right down to the color coded handles on pots and pans to make sure someone with a food allergy doesn't get the wrong dish.

"It makes me feel like I'm in a little apartment instead of a little dorm," said Saffell.

"Are we going to attract a different student and more students, are we going to be more attractive? Absolutely!" said Larson.

When asked if Shocker Hall would be the deciding factor on choosing a college if she were a freshman this year, Saffell said, "Yes. It really would."

To make room for this big new dorm that sleeps 784 students, the university gave up the parking lot that used to be here. So they've developed a staging system down at Koch Arena for the move-in rush this weekend. They're asking students to show up at specific time slots to help spread the rush out through the day and make it easier to handle.

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Photos: Shocker Hall

POSTED: 04:52 PM CDT Aug 11, 2014 
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