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KNOXVILLE – Students returning to the University of Tennessee campus this fall are finding their living quarters a little spiffier than they remember them last spring.

UT housing director James Grubb said many of the dormitories sport new and upgraded equipment.

“In Hess Hall, we have replaced the windows, and that’s totally changed the outside appearance of the building,” Grubb said.

“We’ve used double-paned windows that have an adjustable mini-blind sandwiched between the panes of glass. In addition to the improved appearance, the windows provide better insulation against noise and bad weather.”

Grubb said new heating and cooling systems were installed in Morrill Hall over the summer, as well as new fire alarms and smoke detectors in Clement, Greve, and Massey halls.

In light of the recent accidental death of a man boarding an elevator at a University of Texas hospital, Grubb said his office is doing what it can to ensure elevator safety at UT.

“We’re upgrading and renovating elevators in South Carrick Hall and Hess Hall, and around the campus we’ve done a lot to make elevators as safe as we can,” Grubb said.

“We’ve added a number of features over the years to the controls and doors that minimize risks.”

The number of students moving into university housing is a little smaller than in years past, Grubb said.

“We have 6,147 students in the residence halls this fall, including 3,224 incoming freshmen, which is down a bit from previous years,” Grubb said.

Approximately 6,300 students lived in the dorms last year, Grubb said, including undergraduates and graduate students.