On Friday, November 14, students living in North Hall and E-Complex were informed that the two residence halls would be closing after the end of the spring semester. Graduating seniors living in North or E-Complex will be able to stay in their residence hall through Commencement, but the residence halls will be closed effective May 31. According to Dean of Residence Life Todd Schill, “The eventuality of re-opening will be dependent upon the Institute’s Long Range Facilities Master Plan.”
Both E-Complex and North Hall were built in the 1930’s. Many students have complained about the buildings. Schill said that “students have complained about the water system (inconsistency of hot and cold water scalding water when toilets are flushed), heating system (way too hot in the winter), and bathroom conditions for many years.” Resident Director of North Hall and E-Complex Andre Lussier ’15 relayed student complaints he’d heard, including bug problems in both and logistical issues with kitchen space and laundry in E-Complex. He said he’d heard “quite a few complaints about bugs such as cockroaches” and centipedes. Lussier also noted that E-Complex had only one laundry area and two kitchens, which were only accessible to students living in different stacks if they went outside. The layout is similar to Quad, though the rooms were bigger. Many are singles and larger than most singles on-campus, which was perhaps why those residents chose to live in those two residence halls. North and E-Complex are also closer to the academic campus than most residence halls. Lussier also said that, “E is dilapidated and old,” while North mostly has problems with the heat being too high. Another complaint he’d heard was lack of bathrooms; E-Complex has just one bathroom per floor of around five people and North has two bathrooms per floor of around 10 to 12 people. The bathrooms had just one stall and shower, and furniture in both residence halls is old.
Schill said he met with two Student Senate leaders a few weeks ago “who reinforced some of these same concerns.” Grand Marshal Kyle Keraga ’15 said that “for the past two semesters, our Student Life Committee has been delivering student concern with the Residence Halls to Residence Life.”
According to Schill, 169 students live in these two residence halls together. The Future Residence Hall Closure Memo that was sent out to affected students noted that two incentives for North Hall and E-Complex residents will be in place next year. Former North and E-Complex residents will be given priority in housing selection for 2015-2016. They will also be able to pay the same prices they would have for North or E-Complex, plus inflation, if they stay on campus. Schill also noted that “we know that the singles have been popular in North and E-Complex and we plan to make more singles available to upper class students in the Quad for 2015-2016.”
Keraga noted that, “these halls are expected to remain closed for a long period of time as necessary changes are made.” He met with Vice President of Administration Claude Rounds last Thursday about these two residence halls and other topics. Keraga said that, “administrative renovation efforts are focused on the Quadrangle” and the Student Senate would be communicating with Rounds’ department to make sure the renovations in Quad were most effective for students.
Lastly, Keraga said that, “we’re also passing a wide feedback/renovation proposal this Monday, targeting all residence halls on campus.” On the closing of these two residence halls, Keraga noted that “closure of a residence hall is a difficult decision. It’s encouraging to see student feedback taken seriously and necessary change being made.”