Central Campus will undergo a makeover this summer that could make the apartments more attractive to students.
University administrators have begun planning the final stages of Central Campus renovations, which began four years ago. Although the proposal previously incorporated the additions of non-residential structures, such as Devil’s Bistro and Mill Village, the continuation of the final plan will focus on the apartments themselves, noted Joe Gonzalez, dean for residential life. The plans include refurbishing the kitchens and bathrooms, as well as replacing the carpet flooring with wood laminate.
Currently, residential buildings are comprised mostly of doubles or singles, but Gonzalez said the University is also considering a design that would more evenly distribute both types of rooms across buildings.
He added that he hopes the improved living spaces will encourage upperclassmen to live with their selective living groups, fraternities and sororities until graduation.
“Sophomores would have the double rooms, juniors and seniors would get the [single rooms] and people would want to stay in their houses,” Gonzalez said. “[Students] would have a nicer space to strive towards.”
But it remains uncertain whether these renovations will affect students’ perceptions of Central. Sophomore Catherine Henry noted that any freshmen who may have been discouraged from joining an SLG because of its Central Campus housing would likely not change their minds due to the renovations.
“I doubt that the improvements will alter people’s decisions,” Henry wrote in an email Nov. 14.
She added, however, that it will be good to see some positive changes. Current residents have voiced concerns about problems they have faced in their apartments. Hannah Colton, a senior in Ubuntu, an SLG on Central, noted that mold has been a significant issue within her SLG’s housing.
“In Ubuntu SLG section alone, 10 people reported disruptive allergies and health problems related to the unclean condition of their apartments,” Colton, a columnist for The Chronicle, wrote in an email Nov. 14.
Gonzalez said the original apartment renovation project was divided into three construction phases, each to be completed in one summer. The first began four years ago, but the remaining two phases are now tentatively scheduled to begin this summer. He declined to comment on the exact financing of the project, noting that the plans had not yet been finalized and approved by the University, so they are still a work in progress.
Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta said approximately $7 million was allocated for Central renovations at a meeting with leaders of campus organizations Oct. 29.
Some students are pleased with the idea of renovations. Sophomore Ben Hatt noted that, though he was accustomed to living in his current conditions, he welcomes the change.
“Many people prefer to live on Central because it’s more convenient than going off campus, but it’s unfortunate that the apartments offer such low quality for the price,” Hatt wrote in an email Nov. 14. “I’m glad to hear the University is finally going to refurbish the rest of Central—students will love it.”