Construction and renovation on residence halls planned for summer

The damage to halls forces the University to incur great cost in their repair.

Kevin McCahill

As the semester ends, it’s time for students to leave the residence halls and time for construction workers to take their place.

With a majority of students moving out of the halls for the summer, it is prime time to get construction and other improvements completed on the buildings. This summer is no exception.

Seven halls will be receiving new carpet and a new coat of paint. The new paint and carpet work will be done in Bailey, Centennial, Comstock, Frontier, Middlebrook, Sanford and Territorial halls, according to information provided by Housing and Residential Life Facilities Director Connie Thompson.

Every year about $5 million is spent on construction and renovation of the residence halls, Thompson said.

Half a million dollars typically is spent specifically on repainting the halls, which comes from the high level of wear and tear, she said.

“We wouldn’t need to do as much if people were more careful,” she said.

The built-in dressers will be removed from Territorial Hall and replaced.

Although not many students stay in the halls during the summer, many visitors will stay in the halls as part of on-campus events.

Mannix Clark, assistant director of Housing and Residential Life, said about 600 summer school students will live in Comstock Hall and student apartments over the summer.

Territorial Hall Assistant Director John Kryst said about 250 rooms will be worked on during the summer, but they will be worked on around the schedule of visitors.

“The intention is that they will be rotating into parts that aren’t being used,” Kryst said.

The hall won’t be open all summer, and work typically will be done when no one is around, Kryst said.

Thompson said a lot of effort has gone into making sure students and visitors aren’t disturbed.

“There will be a lot of ‘Pardon our Dust’ signs,” she said.

Some construction projects will be done near Elliott Hall through the summer that will shut down East River Road.

University area neighborhoods also are going through changes as the semester comes to a close.

Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association President Brian Biele said the neighborhood is used to the big move-out by students in the spring and a large return in the fall.

A majority of students moving happens on the east side of Interstate 35W, he said.

“In the Dinkytown area we definitely see a change,” he said.

But for a majority of long-term residents, the end of the semester doesn’t mean much.

“We haven’t really seen that large of an impact,” Biele said. “The neighborhood is changing into more longer-term residents like Uptown.”

Biele said that in terms of crime, the numbers of auto-related thefts stay roughly the same when classes are in session.

Southeast Como neighborhood coordinator James De Sota said at the end of the semester there is an increase in some crimes.

“We see an up-tick in thefts from vehicles,” he said. “When people are moving, they leave their car doors open.”

He also said typically there is an increase in parties as well as more garbage being left around the area as students move.