Face-lift may increase cost of room, board

The new renovations to Sampson Hall come with a price.

The renovations of nine of the 13 housing facilities are part of a five-year plan proposed by the housing department.

The cost of these renovations has yet to be determined or approved by the legislature. However, there is speculation of an increase in the cost of room and board for students residing on campus next year.

“The proposed rental rate increase is based on services that we intend to offer students in the coming years,” said Jerry Moore, director of housing.

“There will be an increased cost of maintenance and other operational issues.”

The plan to renovate came from feedback that the housing department received from residents.

“The housing department decided in May 2002 that we would have to make renovations to address students concerns about the resident halls,” Moore said. “The renovations are designed to do four things: to address student concerns: to be more customer oriented, to make the students’ stay in the residence halls a pleasant one, and to compete with the outside market.”

When plans for the increase went before the Board of Trustees, SGA President Andre Hammel was the only trustee who opposed.

“I voted against the increase because the housing department presented the framework and not a detailed plan,” Hammel said.

“The overall intent is great, but before you vote to increase housing you have to have a plan in place.”

The renovations will also create a relocation of residents to other housing facilities. Students will have a farther distance to walk to classes.

Moore said students have nothing to worry about because the department is in the process of negotiating a “cost-effective” system with the City of Tallahassee transportation department.

“We are working with the city to have buses routed so they will go by the front door of the facility,” Moore said.

As a resident of Sampson Hall, Raleigh Stewart is concerned with having to pay more to possibly live in a new facility when the old dorms should have be replenished a long time ago.

“It’s not fair to students who are just coming to the school,” said the 18-year-old freshman pharmacy student from Orlando. “They are just now deciding to renovate certain facilities when they could have done it years ago.”

Stewart also has questionable faith in the proposed transportation system.

“The buses are rarely on time,” Stewart said. “This will inconvenience students. They will have to get ready for school earlier just to make it to class on time.”

Hammel said students should not be concerned with the inconvenience of possibly moving to another facility or paying too much for tuition.

“There is a long-term gain in the end,” he said. “If you want your crops to grow it has to rain.”