Changes slow new dorm plans

Plans to construct a new housing facility have been delayed by administrative changes, said Housing Director Jerry Moore. The new residence is to be located on the corner of Perry and Gamble streets.

“The initial projection (for completion) was 2004 but with the presidential change and new trustees, things have to be relooked,” Moore said.

The yearly increase of enrolled students at the university and lack of housing space to accommodate them, led Moore to propose housing plans. There are 2, 974 available spaces for students in the dorms and campus apartments.

Acknowledging that many colleges and universities renovated their dorms to model apartments, Moore said the new facility would have “suite-style” living in order to cut down on community bathrooms.

“Apartments are the way of the future,” Moore said.

Moore also said that dorm renovations will begin summer 2003.

“We are going to close select dorms, a floor at a time. We want to install better air conditioning systems and energy efficient windows.”

Moore said that repairs are done year round and about $1.3 million is spent annually on dorm repairs.

Many students are in favor of dorm renovations because of the constant need of repairs. Although the majority of students live off campus, those who reside in dormitories have many complaints about the condition of them.

“The dorms need to be redone,” said Edward Graham,18, a freshman physical therapy student from Miami who lives in Gibbs Hall “My door is broken and I was told that it would be fixed. That was two weeks ago and it still hasn’t been fixed.”

While most of the dorms have their share of problems, students seem to have the most complaints about Paddyfote, the newest traditional dorm, which was constructed in 1967.

“When I first got here, the air conditioner didn’t work and it took them a week to fix it,” said Ashleye Jenkins,18, a freshman nursing student from Atlanta who lives in Paddyfote. “Both of our mirrors are broken, our shelf has caved in, and no one has fixed them yet. I refuse to pay fines for an unmade bed when they can’t even do repairs,” she said.

While most students have a list of complaints concerning the dorms, there a few that have positive things to say about housing.

“The dorm itself is liveable, and the space in Gibbs is adequate”, said Janard Adams,18, a freshman pharmacy student from Riviera Beach.

“Because there are so many repairs that have to be done, we have to start with the ones that are life threatening or that may cause fatalities,” Moore said. “We have to decide which repairs are critical.”

The housing department has many plans to make campus life more positive, and students can help.

“Students need to make sure that they pay their rent because Housing is an auxiliary, and all of the money comes from the students. We have to collect a minimum of $9 million dollars per year in rent to keep things in operation,” Moore said.

With plans going into action soon, Moore is sure that everything will be successful. “It will take awhile, but I think we’re up to the task,” Moore said. “We’re here to make sure that students have a complete academic life with a clean affordable place to stay.”