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North Village to become temporary home of LEAD LLC amid renovations

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The community center in Heritage House allows students to socialize and interact in a shared space. Mia Crawford | Photographer

By Sarah Gallaher | Staff Writer

The Leadership, Education and Development Living-Learning Community, otherwise known as the LEAD LLC, will move across campus for the 2024-2025 academic year. Construction in Allen and Dawson Halls — the former home of the LEAD LLC — means that residents will find a temporary home in Texana and University House, located in North Village.

“Rather than disband the Living-Learning Community for a year, we wanted to keep that group together and relocate them to a different building so that they can continue doing all the positive things associated with that program,” Dr. Rob Engblom, associate director for Campus Living and Learning, said.

In 2022, the IMPACT LLC merged with the LEAD LLC to combine education and leadership. Allen and Dawson then became the new home of the growing LLC.

Alyssa Harrington serves as the LEAD LLC program director and will be the only professional staff member accompanying the move.

“[LEAD] is a multidisciplinary community that is tied to the School of Education,” Harrington said. “This community is designed for anyone who is interested in learning more about education and how broad that career may be, or they’re interested in pursuing how leadership can affect every career and what that can mean for them in the future.”

In her role, Harrington bridges the gap between the School of Education and the residence halls. She said she is excited to work alongside the North Village staff to welcome new students into the program.

Although the traditions and values of the LEAD LLC will remain an integral part of the program, moving from one residence hall to another involves personnel changes. The residence hall director, resident chaplain and faculty-in-residence currently serving in Texana and University House will work alongside the LEAD LLC during this transitional period.

“Coincidentally, [Dr. Beth Allison Barr], who is the faculty-in-residence, this was going to be her last year in that capacity,” Engblom said. “As she moves away from that position, when we go over to Texana and University House, they will already have a faculty-in-residence in place.”

North Village’s current faculty-in-residence, Brent Phillips, is a professor of trombone in the Baylor School of Music. During his time as faculty-in-residence, he has undergone many changes. Texana and University House were formerly halls for mainly upper-division students, but for the past two years, they have served as temporary housing for halls undergoing construction.

Texana and University House had exclusively female students from the 2022-2023 academic year as Collins Hall underwent renovation. This year, they housed students from the Honors Residential College during the renovation of Alexander and Memorial Halls. Since the temporary use of these buildings proved successful, Campus Living and Learning decided to continue using North Village as a temporary housing solution.

The apartment-style layout of Texana and University House differs greatly from the communal living in Allen and Dawson, so the LEAD LLC will have to adapt accordingly.

“It comes with some challenges but also some really cool experiences,” Harrington said. “We’ll be sharing the community center with Heritage House. That community space is so good to get students out from the male and female lobbies, but also so we can just spend time communally together.”

The community-centered approach of the LEAD LLC relies on the use of classrooms and communal spaces in the residence halls, both of which are offered in the North Village Community Center shared by Texana, Heritage and University House.

Despite the challenges that come with the transition, Harrington said she is excited for what is to come and hopes to find ways to meet the communal needs of first-year students in the new space.



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