Housing option return is part of 7-year plan

Housing option return is part of 7-year plan

Moriah Howell

The College Park Apartments is still vacant after a year and a half.

Nathan Bottiger, Editor-In-Chief

Beginning Fall 2013, students were turned away from the College Park Apartments building.

Since it’s cautionary closing, the building has remained vacant, and students still do not have an alternative similar to its particular living situation.

Housing and Residence Life Director Mark Dougherty said the apartment building might see a renovation within the next six years.

Dougherty said the facility’s renovation is included in the seven-year strategic plan, which came into effect this year.

“(The building) was a very popular option for students,” he said. “They were able to take advantage of resources for residential students (cable, Internet, programming) while still have that ‘off-campus’ feel.”

Dougherty said the timing of the renovation has not yet been decided.

Although the building remains unavailable to students, it is kept functioning at a basic level.

Dougherty said the main utilities still functioning are fire alarms, security systems and some heating to prevent damage and intruders.

“Minimal heat is provided,” he said. “When a building sits idle for an extended time, the cold weather can drastically affect its condition.”

Dougherty said if the apartment complex is not reinstated, there might not be a similar alternative.

Some students may find the Campus Commons a similar solution, which is only across Schoolhouse Road, but Dougherty said it is not a solution for campus housing since it is off-campus.

Junior Robert Morino said he heard the College Park Apartments were closed after his freshman year.

“I heard they were gone,“ he said. “How bad they were I don’t know.“

Morino said he was upset by the university’s decision to close the apartments because he would have considered living there rather than the Living/Learning Center.

Morino said he was not thrilled about the renovation’s inclusion in the seven-year plan.

“Chances are I’m not gonna’ see that by my senior year.“

Morino said the delaying of the renovations makes him feel that the university cares more about attracting future students rather than appeasing and caring for the students already attending and living on campus.

Dougherty said the College Park Apartments’ reinstatement may be beneficial to the university’s housing department.

“Resuming use of (the College Park Apartments) would mean that we could house an additional 140 students in the campus housing system, and being able to provide a popular style of living to students.”

Dougherty said resuming management of the complex is not an issue, but the building needs to be fixed beforehand.

“As we previously functioned with (the College Park Apartments), the operational and support mechanisms are already in place to quickly resume management of that building.”