Kat Namon ’22
Starting in the first semester of the 2019- 2020 academic year, both Boardwalk and Park Place residence halls will be closed to students and will not be a part of the upcoming housing lottery to take place in April. During the fall of 2012, both residence halls received exterior repairs, and would need even more work to remain livable. The upgrades required would be extremely costly to the school, totaling around $2 million, a cost that does not include the interior upgrades that the residence halls would require. The issue of the two residence halls was discussed during an SGA meeting on February 3.
Both buildings put together only offer a total of 44 beds, and given the small size of the residence halls, it was decided that it would not serve the school well to keep them open and continue to spend money on the upgrades and changes required for the dorms to provide students with a satisfactory and safe living area. Since they will not be available for residence during the upcoming academic year, students will have two fewer dorms to choose from when going through the housing lottery next month. It is undetermined how long these dorms will be closed for, and according to an email sent by Director of Residential Life Susan Salisbury, they may not reopen at all. Despite this, Salisbury and the rest of the Office of Residential Life are open to suggestions from students, faculty, and staff regarding their opinions, concerns, or questions on the closing of the residence halls in addition to other housing options available on campus. They will be accepting input regarding the kinds of changes students, faculty, and staff want to see made to the interiors and exterior of residence halls. According to Salisbury, both Park Place and Boardwalk are safe to live in, however, “the dialogue regarding future plans for all student housing will take place on Wednesday, Mar. 6 from 6-8 pm and Thursday Mar. 7 from 12:15-1:15 pm at two open forums, both in the Rittenberg Lounge in Mather. After the forums and further discussions with students, more informed decisions can be made in regard to the future of all housing on campus.”
Cornelia Thornburgh, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said “residence halls are viewed as a priority” in the Board’s plan- ning. Thornburgh added that “the Board was informed of the situation with the Boardwalk and Park Place residences and was given an update at its meeting by Dean of Students Joe DiChristina.”
Current residents of the dorms have also commented on their condition. Eve Pollack ’20, who is the RA for Park Place and Boardwalk, said that the dorms “are livable, but definitely needed repairs and it’s a good idea to rebuild.”
Questions regarding the closing of the dorms can be directed to Susan Salisbury at susan. email@example.com.