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No Dorms Available for Thanksgiving due to Renovations

No Dorms Available for Thanksgiving due to Renovations

Story by Deanna Atkins, Photo by Christian Bachrodt

Thursday, November 21, 2013 | Number of views (3291)

In the past three years, Fort Lewis College has been able to rent out dorm rooms for students who are unable to go home over the breaks, but not this year.

This year, dorms are unavailable because of renovations to the Snyder A dorms, said Julie Love, the director of Student Housing, in a phone interview.

Because the renovations won’t be completed until the spring, all traditional dorms are filled to capacity, leaving housing unable to keep any dorms open for break, Love said.

The college is updating the electrical and infrastructure along with a new design to the dorm rooms. The complexes will have a layout of two single rooms and one double room countering its past layout of two double rooms and one single room in each suite, she said.

The other two Snyder dorms, B and C are scheduled to be updated in the spring once Snyder A is finished, said Laura Latimer, the assistant director of Student Housing, in a phone interview.

As the budget allows, Latimer said that housing will continue to update the Bader complexes as well.

Because students like the Bader and Snyder dorm complexes, Latimer said it made more sense to update them instead of rebuilding because of the atmosphere they provide.

According to Love, each renovation will take place over a four to five month period with the first dorm, Snyder A, to be accessible in June 2013 for the summer sessions.

Love said that when the dorms were open for breaks in the past years, no more than an average of 10 people utilized them.

To avoid more costs, Love said that in the past students have expressed the desire to have the dorms shut down over the breaks instead of staying open.

The dorms are also closed for custodial purposes and work order fixes that students have encountered and filed, Latimer said.

The only students allowed to stay in the dorms are the residence directors, who have their own apartments within the dorms that allows them to cook for themselves, she said.

While the resident directors stay in their dorms, Latimer said they perform routine tasks and checkups within their dorms like work orders and maintenance checkups because its residents are not there.

Ben Luntz, the residence director for Camp Hall who plans to stay on campus over the break, said that he plans to catch up on paperwork and clean up his office over the break, in a phone interview.

An RD’s job also consists of checking each student's room for broken screens, nonfunctional lights, nonfunctional heaters and more, Luntz said.

Once nonfunctional items are found, Luntz files work orders with the Physical Plant to have them fixed.

Luntz will also be on duty for the students who stay in the apartments over the break because they are not required to leave their residence.

Because the apartments are still open for the breaks, an RD must be available for any of the residents needs, Latimer said.

RD’s must work their break unless they apply and be granted leave time only after they receive approval, Latimer said.

The second instance where students are allowed to stay in the dorms are athletic instances, but Love says she has not been contacted by the athletic department about arranging dorm areas.

If students can not find a place to stay there are several options to chose from that include renting a hotel room, traveling with the Outdoor Pursuits program, stay with a friend or roommate or set up a guest student service organization, Love said.

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