In addition to some dormitories closing or remaining closed, a new dorm, called Phase IV, is scheduled for construction on Florida A&M University’s campus.
Oscar L. Crumity, interim housing director, said Phase IV would be a suite-style facility with 500 beds. It will be placed south of the campus in the Palmetto apartment area.
Although Crumity, who has been interim director since September 2003 said there is no model for Phase IV right now, there are some amenities already planned for the new facility. Each person will have his or her own telephone line, cable television hook-up, and high-speed Internet access. The facility will also have computer labs, and a recreation and activity room.
Crumity said consultants are researching a satellite cafeteria that will be managed by Sodexho and possibly a retail store, such as a 7-11 convenience store, to be placed within Phase IV.
“We are committed to implementing the project’s completion, and housing is an intricate part of the education process,” Crumity said.
Meanwhile, two of the University’s male dormitories remain out of commission after being closed during the 2003-2004 academic year because of old age and unpleasant conditions.
The two dormitories, Sampson Hall, which was constructed in 1934, and Young Hall, built in 1929, housed thousands of male students at FAMU for over the past 75 years.
FAMU’s private building consultant firm, Management of America M.G.T., advised the University to cease all living arrangements for the facilities.
Crumity said there was a meeting about the decision to close the dorms around April before the upcoming academic year. However, university officials said they are considering using the two dormitories as an office facility for the University, but no decision has been made.
Young Hall is said to be reserved as a standby dorm in the event of an emergency that may require FAMU’s Housing Department to relocate some students.
However, Young Hall housed students in the summer of 2004 when the Black Male Explorers of Miami researched at FAMU. At that time, there were no complaints submitted by the organization about living accommodations. Crumity said the dormitory was used to providing housing to the Explorers program because they cannot be housed with other FAMU students.
“As the M.G.T. study is reviewed, it is our goal to improve our students’ quality of life within the residential facilities,” Crumity said. “We anticipate starting new construction of our residence halls with in the next 12 months.”
Senior Aliza Bush said closing the dorms was in the best interest of students because they were unfit for residency.
“I am really proud that Sampson and Young halls closed because it is unhealthy for students to live in such an environment,” said Bush, 21, a nursing student from Daytona Beach.
Bush said this shows that the housing department is on the move to rebuilding better dorms for FAMU.
“I just hope they don’t forget about Paddyfoote dormitories because it needs help with renovations also,” Bush said.
Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Henry Kirby, who also serves as Dean of Students, said Sampson and Young dormitories were taken off line for repairs in 2003.
“The two buildings are historic and the University wants to make sure they stay online,” Kirby said.
“I’m looking forward to the decision by the FAMU Board of Trustees regarding what finance plan they will endorse, which will help implement the M.G.T. study,” Kirby said.
“I think the student body will greatly benefit from the new facilities on this campus.”
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