Eastern’s residence halls see upgrades

Alyssa Cravens, Staff Reporter

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In addition to regularly scheduled summer maintenance, several of Eastern’s residence halls have received improvements since the end of the spring semester in May.

Mark Hudson, director of University Housing and Dining Services, said several residence halls are receiving new mattresses and upgraded Wi-Fi services.

He said 850 mattresses are being replaced throughout the summer months; 850 were replaced in other residence halls during the previous summer and the University Housing and Dining Department has plans to replace an additional 850 next summer in the remaining residence halls.

The project was split up into three summers because of the high cost associated with the project as well as the time and labor involved in moving out all of the old mattresses and bringing in the new ones.

Hudson said both Taylor and Andrews Halls will receive the upgrades, and the plan is to have everything in good working order by the beginning of the fall semester.

Additionally, the Housing and Dining Department has been working on a large renovation project to update the lobby of Lawson Hall, Hudson said.

Work began late in the spring semester and has continued throughout the summer; included in the improvements are all new carpeting, paint and new furniture for the lobby, he said.

Hudson said the department plans to finish the project in late July so that incoming residents are welcomed with the lobby transformation on their August move-in dates.

The Housing and Dining Department is a stand-alone auxiliary, which Hudson explained means is not supported through state or federal funding, nor university tuition; rather it is fully funded by those who pay to live and eat at the facilities.

As a result of this, major upgrades like those implemented over the summer require a lot of budgeting and organization and often must be done over the course of multiple school years or summer breaks.

Moreover, the department must take into account and plan around the 10,000 campers who stay in the residence halls and eat at the dining hall during various summer camps, he said.

In addition to larger renovation projects, general yearly maintenance must take place during the summer months while the campus is largely unoccupied, Hudson said.

Regarding specific inquiries about maintenance and installations over the summer, Timothy Zimmer, director of Facilities Planning & Management, could not be reached for comment after several attempts.

At the end of every school year, maintenance workers go through the residence halls one by one and check to make sure everything is in working order, Hudson said.

The workers make note of what needs done and spend a large amount of time executing work orders; the repairs can be anything from replacing a door handle to applying a fresh coat of paint, Hudson said.

In addition, building service workers spend the entire summer cleaning and restoring the rooms to a basic level of cleanliness for the next resident, he said. This includes extracting all the carpets, waxing the floors, wiping the mattresses, and other common cleaning preparations.

Alyssa Cravens can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].