Hey! How are you? I lived in 310 Brownlee two years ago. I liked it a lot. It only got a little sticky in the summertime, but that only lasts a week or so, and is somewhat remedied by a fan and open window. I lived on the third floor so it was a bit worse for us. The walk across the parking lot makes it about 5 minutes to get to Main Complex if you rush, but if you live in the new dorms you'll be facing a longer walk than you would in Brownlee. Last year sucked because they made Brownlee co-ed, but this year, it's going back to all women.
The story with the new dorm: Apparantly, from what we've heard over the past year, freshman honors students are having the option of living in DeChantal Hall, the new dorm. The rest of us honors students were a little irked, not being able to have had the same option. If you decide to live there, you will be living in 4 or 6 person suites and you'll be living around upperclassmen, both men and women, because that's co-ed. You'll also have to clean your own living spaces--meaning your own bathrooms and living rooms if you live in the new dorm. Brownlee has a housekeeper that cleans.
DeChantal is quieter than Farrell, but if you think its going to be quieter than any other dormitory forget it. All the residence halls are loud. I think the only reason why DeChantal was quieter was because it was filled to less than half last year because it had just finished being built. I always thought studying conditions in Brownlee weren't that bad, and you can always go other places to study or tell your RA about it.
I lived in Farrell last year and will again this year. In comparison of study and working conditions between the two dorms, Brownlee is hands down quieter than Farrell. Farrell was always bustling. I mean, for example, in the room I live now in Farrell, there are parties so loud downstairs the floor shakes. The floor never shook in Brownlee.
However, you do get more freedom--less RA-resident interaction and less "rules", I suppose you could say. Personally, (and other honors students believe this too) I think that the Honors dorm is a bad idea because it will literally isolate those students from the rest of the class. DeChantal, the new dorm, is almost literally isolated--it's behind Brownlee and Farrell. Dormitory living allows you to make close attachments to people who become your friends, or the people you can't stand. My major is small, so all my friends I made in the dorms. I think that if the honors students are all put in one dorm, they won't get a greater chance of mingling with other students in Havey and Brownlee.
Just a thought.
If you do decide to go to Seton Hill, maybe you could see how many other honors students are deciding to live in the new dorm and based on that, try to make a decision.