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Campus upgrades dorms to accomodate students

by Breonnah Colon - Campus Takk Editor
Tue, Sep 12th 2017 11:00 pm

For almost two years now, The College at Brockport has been in the process of upgrading the campus to better assist its students. From smoother pathways in order to increase wheelchair accessibility to updating buildings to function more efficiently, it is nearly impossible for students to miss all the construction taking place. One of the most well-known construction sites is the new dorm building being built near the student townhomes across the railroad tracks on campus.

The building is expected to be completed in the summer of 2018, and will house upperclassmen. Upon completion, the building will mimic “hotel-style” suites. Two students will be assigned to one bedroom which will also host a bathroom, typical of the suite-style living common for students living on campus. However, that is only one of several luxuries that will be a unique draw for students interested in living in the new dorm building.

Associate Director Craig Ross, explained in an email that the new dorms will offer several amenities such as “lounges with kitchens and quiet study space on each floor and an outdoor patio with seating.”

Ross explained the building has been strategically placed in a prime location close to both Drake Memorial Library and the SERC in order to be more convenient for students living there.

The updates and luxury style living will come with a higher cost than typical upperclassmen dorms such as the Perry or Harmon Halls. However, the price has not yet been set.

Ross also explained that plans to  build another building may be coming into fruition soon as a result of a plan already put in place by the college.

“The 10-year capital plan calls for a middle-quad building to be renovated starting in 2019, but that date is not set,” Ross wrote. “It could be sooner or later, depending on funding.”

While the new dorm building is expected to be an upgrade from the existing dorms, there is one amenity that may be shared with another building: electronic door locks with keypads, much like ones commonly found in hotel rooms. This is not surprising since the new dorms are intended to replicate hotel-style rooms.

The locks serve as a higher level of security, working with the combined use of a student’s ID card which would be coded for their specific building, as well as a four digit code which only the student will know. Carl O’Connor, assistant director of housing, explained the locks can serve as a way for students to potentially save money.

“When students lose a key now, it is more costly to the students to replace the brass keys instead of their ID card,” O’Connor wrote in an email. “If the student was to lose their ID, they can get it replaced (which makes the old card inactive) rather than having to have the room re-keyed.”

The locks in Perry Hall are currently being used as a test run in order to determine how effective they are as well as how students respond to them. While there are already plans to have the locks implemented in the upcoming dorm building, there is also a chance for the same locks or similar style locks to also be placed in other dorm buildings throughout campus.

O’Connor explained that funding for the locks will not result in students paying higher room and board than students living in buildings without the locks, but rather as part of strategic planning on behalf of ResLife based on the needs of students.

“As we examine needs for each residence hall, we thoughtfully determine which projects would have the biggest impact on the student experience and also address the needs of each building,” O’Connor said. “We already had a door replacement project slated for Perry, so it was a great opportunity to add these locks to the project as a way to continue to improve the quality of our students’ experience living on campus.”

While Perry Hall experiences its on-going test run, Mortimer Hall will be experiencing its own upgrades soon. The building, which has asbestos, is set to be taken down.

According to ehsoregonstate.edu, asbestos can only become harmful if it enters the body, either through inhalation or digestion of the fiber. Health concerns that may arise are asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.

While these hazards are definitely life threatening and should be taken seriously, the website explains, “[materials containing asbestos] will not release asbestos fibers unless they are disturbed or damaged in some way.”

ResLife refused to comment on the condition of asbestos in Mortimer Hall, however, Adam Christianson, a junior living in the building, said he had never been informed of the asbestos by ResLife staff.

“My suitemate actually told me [Mortimer had asbestos],” Christianson said. “[ResLife] told us they’d be taking it down soon, but nothing beyond that.”

Christianson went on to explain he had no information about where the asbestos was througout the building or how to  handle living in a building where asbestos is present.

While Christianson is not pleased at the lack of information at hands, he is hopeful that ResLife will be able to address the issue sometime soon.

“I don’t know what they’re going to do or how they’re going to treat [the asbestos],” Christianson said. “Maybe this year will be different. I’m hoping as time passes things will be brought up more often.”

Christianson’s optimism sheds a positive light on what could be a dire situation. With several updates taking place throughout campus, it is very likely that students have a safe, more efficiently-run campus to look forward to in the upcoming year.



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