Marysville, VA – After six months of planning and debate, the renovation of Caldwell University’s new Black dorm was completed in three hours. The newly renamed Color Residence Hall is likely the first residence hall in the country to split students by skin color, but nobody was willing to read any of those awful, racist historical documents from earlier than 2019 to confirm.
With a $6.4M budget and a planned construction phase of 3 years, this quick renovation was quite a surprise.
“I was ready to work in a construction zone for the next few years,” residence dean Sean Lafferty said, “I fully expected that even 3 years would be a miracle, but 3 hours? Somebody above must’ve realized that there is a lot of value in a labor of love.” Lafferty tapped his Marx shirt with his palm while grinning.
The project, already having spent $4M of its $6.4M grant on architectural designs, structural review, ecological review, aesthetic review, inclusion and diversity review, social justice review, ethical experimentation review, certificate of need review, carcinogen review, educational impact review, disparate impact review, total impact review, financial justification, and the inaugural poetry slam, had to be substantially reduced to meet budget. The resulting plan allowed a scant $2.4M to repaint the dorm’s signage.
“It was a street fight to get the name right for our Black Dorm project,” said residence hall student liaison Justitia Wills, “We had so many klansmen and white supremacists trying to tell us to name it after racist whites like Frederick Douglass and Thomas Sowell. We couldn’t even earn a moment’s peace from them when deciding what description to use for the people and kin who will reside here. They tried to convince us to use exclusive terms like ‘POC’ and ‘Black’. In the end, we won. We settled on a simple name that respects all oppressed people and otherkin. ‘Color Residence Hall’.”
Color Residence Hall is the culmination of an ongoing initiative at Caldwell to counteract oppression by providing the best opportunities to Black and Brown students before whites can be their rapacious selves. Color was planned to be the premier student housing on campus, with a lazy river, an IBLAX theater playing Black produced movies 24/7, and an inclusive food court staffed only by whites so that they can feel what it’s like to be servile.
However, with the budget overruns, it is unclear whether the full glory of Color will ever be achieved. At least for now, a glimmer of paint shines like a beacon toward the inclusive future.
The hero of our story, painter Jorge Ramirez of Ramirez Paint and Restoration, is a surprisingly small and quiet man. For a miracle worker, he was very personable.
Ramirez described his feat to us in technical terms, hiding his brilliance behind painting jargon.
“I was just, uh, hired to strip the signs, prime them, and repaint them with the new name,” he said, “the building was built 70 years ago in the 1950’s, yes? There were many layers of paint, and it took a couple hours to get through the top layers without destroying the wood. When I got to the bottom layer, I saw that it says ‘Colored Residence Hall’. I, uh, by accident, strip the E-D off, and the loud girl who hire me walked by and say that it was finished. I did the same to the other signs and then I was done.”
Ramirez, who earned a $15M early completion bonus by finishing nearly 3 years early, has been adopted as the patron saint of the residence hall. Plans have begun to erect a statue of Ramirez where students recently pulled down a statue of Ernest Caldwell, the school’s founder, because he was white and old and probably owned slaves or tweeted something racist.
UPDATE: Just hours after the first meeting to plan the construction of the Ramirez statue, it has been announced that the project will be canceled after it was found that Ramirez had posted an anti-LGBT picture on Facebook in 2013. The picture, ostensibly of his nephew’s baptism, included a piece of hate literature known to bigots as ‘The Holy Bible’. Ramirez Painting and Restoration is now under a national boycott.