Amid the many exciting changes that took place at MC over the summer, going into the fall semester, one major decision on the part of the administration was to shut down Ratliff residence hall instead of making attempts to renovate or repair the deteriorating dormitory. With this decision came a host of questions, chief among them, the question of what was going to happen to Ratliff?
The fate of Ratliff is still in doubt, it seems. There doesn’t appear to be any intention of repairing the dorm in the future, and with all the talk of new and exciting opportunities like Chick-fil-A coming to campus, a certain amount of brainstorming on what could be done with Ratliff is to be expected.
One option remaining on the table is, of course, to replace Ratliff with a newer, classier dorm. The current living spaces on campus are crowded, to be sure, and replacing Ratliff with a building serving the same purpose would make sense. Ratliff’s replacement could easily become a coveted dorm on campus, elevating it to one of the premium living options from its previous place on the lower end of the luxury spectrum.
However practical a replacement resident hall might be, MC prides itself as a hub of innovation and creativity. Another innovative use for Ratliff’s plot of land could be a replacement for the Alumni Pool that was previously behind The Commons area. A two-story water slide would provide a chance for MC students to relax and take pressure off upcoming exams. In addition, adding a diving board could attract members for a potential state-champion MC diving team.
But a pool is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of possibilities for Ratliff’s successor. One more lucrative option would be a self-sustaining greenhouse run by the botany majors. A greenhouse could introduce the possibility for opening up a farmer’s market on campus, as well as providing the cafeteria with fresh fruits and vegetables for meals.
Sophomore Ladarius Stovall believes a greenhouse “would be good for growing our own lettuce and tomatoes. The roaches would have a place to stay too.” With dual benefits of fresh produce and pest control, a greenhouse could save MC untold sums in the years to come.
Of course, with the new addition of an esports team at MC, the college will inevitably need a practice area for these pro gamers to prepare for their upcoming tournaments. The introduction of a gaming center could very easily solve this problem. Rooms of TVs equipped with the newest gaming technology could provide MC’s newest sports team with a place to hone their skills, as well as adding a new hang out place for students after the team finishes practice.
Finally, MC has been looking for an ideal space to host chapel this past year. While Nelson Hall has provided a nice venue for now, MC chapel deserves a venue as grand as its occupants. A concert hall, with the right equipment, could be used for a variety of events, from chapel to hosting local bands to theatre productions.
When asked about the idea of a concert hall on campus, sophomore Elias Dagmash said it “would make MC way more fun.” Imagine, if you will, our very own Dr. Blake Thompson descending from above on a stellar fly system to introduce a crowd of awe-struck new freshman to MC on Welcome Week.
With Ratliff’s fate remaining undecided, it may well be that such dreams are not far off for MC students.