With attendance at Florida A&M University increasing, the need for housing is as well. Students have the option to stay in apartment style dorms, one being Palmetto North. This dormitory was closed in 2014 and reopened in 2017.
Upon the reopening in 2017, Palmetto North had undergone renovations to make it up to living standards again. With a bill upward of $1 million, the university was able to complete task from changing the carpet, putting new rails on the balcony, replacing windows and painting the interior and exterior of the building.
Issues occurred in fall of 2017 when the dorms were not move-in ready for students. The university apologized to students and families and ensured this mistake would not occur again.
The Director of University Housing, Jennifer Wilder Ph.D., came into her position February of 2017. She was informed of the increase in demand for on-campus housing and knew she would have to make some accommodations.
“This past summer we spent quite some time working on HVAC, trying to glaze windows, (and) replace doors,” Wilder explained. “We've been trying to improve the experience. So if you were to ask me in terms of complaints I got this year versus the complaints I got last year, they are significantly lower this year.”
There was a big misconception about the most received complaints were being centered on mold. When, in all actuality, it was just mildew due to poor ventilation in the storage units inside the rooms.
The newer upgrades were made to prevent further mildew complaints. More windows were replaced. Heating and ventilation air conditioning were also installed to promote better air circulation. This came up to around half a million dollars in upgrades.
Palmetto North is the ideal place for the average student. It comes with more freedom according to Jemel Fanfan, a sophomore transfer student majoring in Biochemistry.
“I’ve been staying here since the beginning of the year and just the freedom alone made a difference,” Fanfan exclaimed. “The RA’s are nice, the RD’s cool and I like that its apartment styled. I didn’t know it needed upgrades. So far, so good.”
It also has a kitchen so if a student wanted to opt out of a more expensive meal plan, they could. The venom is steps away so students can get anywhere on campus in half the time it would take walking. As well as having an air-conditioned storage unit in case the traditional dorms would not fit all of a student’s belongings.
With all the necessary upgrades made Palmetto North, it has become one of the most up-to-date dorms on campus and is highly praised.
Kyron Stevens, a sophomore criminal justice major, has been living at the dorms since they opened last year.
“I love it,” Stevens stated. “You can tell they spent a lot of money. To be honest, this year is much better than last year, but I loved it then and I love it now.”
Renovations took place in summers 2017 and 2018. Now vacancies are available each year to students who desire an upgraded, apartment styled dormitory.