University planning dorm renovations

University officials are planning to renovate student Sampson Hall, Young Hall and Polkinghorne Village within the next five years.

Sampson and Young are both male dormitories that have been closed since the fall 2003 semester. Polkinghorne, a housing facility for married couples and students with children, was closed fall of 2004.

Isaac Brundage, director of housing, said there is a renovating plan in process. However, until the plan is put into action, the facilities will remain closed. Vincent June, director of student affairs, said the renovations are designed to complete a five-year comprehensive housing plan embraced by today’s best practices in resident life, routine maintenance, upgrades, trend analysis and quality programming.

“The University is working to secure the appropriate funding as well as an architect to work with facilities planning, housing administration and student affairs to review various plans/layouts that are best to support renovations for the respective facilities,” June said.

The plans for these housing facilities are constructed around upgrades that are needed to improve the on-campus resident experience, Brundage said.

Within five years the housing department anticipates having both Sampson and Young upgraded to modern standards.

“Officials are looking into different styles, and once the project gets going people will be pleased with the outcome,” Brundage said. “The housing facilities’ renovations should be on track within five years.”

But the renovations can take longer than expected if funding and other resources are not available.

“The funding source is important, scope of work needed, extensive time in planning, architect and other variables around facilities planning given the historic and preservation concerns of these rich buildings,” June said.

The funding for the renovations will not come from what the students pay to live on campus; it will come from Bond Financing.

Brundage said Bond Financing is basically a mortgage that is paid monthly.

The housing department gets its budget from its occupants, so when the halls reopen the budget will increase and the university will be able to pay the financing back.

Officials said the female dormitory Diamond Hall was renovated before the male dorms because it was less of an extensive job.”The level and scope of work needed for Diamond Hall was less comprehensive than that which is needed for Sampson, Young and Polkinghorne,” June said.

Brundage said the freshmen males that are supposed to be housed in Sampson and Young are housed in Gibbs Hall and Paddyfoote, and the married couples are housed in Palmetto North instead of Polkinghorne.

One of the problems in Sampson Hall was a continuing pipe problem that was simply patched up.

“The pipes that were attached to the air conditioning unit would leak and sometimes burst, which would result in mold and mildew problems,” said George Olokun, 22, a former resident assistant in Sampson Hall and a graduating political science senior from Atlanta.

“The tiles in the ceiling would constantly be replaced because of the leak problem,” Olokun explained.

Olokun said Sampson has a good structure but needs to meet current regulations. “I’m glad they are doing it now. Hopefully it will help increase enrollment and will help with retention on campus.”