By BRIAN HARNISH
In late June 2018, and then later in mid July, every student who was registered to live in Alvey and Arrington got an email from Residence Life stating that they would be relocated for the Fall semester.
According to the email sent from Hunter Rauscher, the Associate Director for Residence Life and Housing, while a routine inspection and planned maintenance of Alvey Hall was occuring over the summer, the bathrooms were inspected. During the replacement of door frames, bath exhaust fans, and light fixtures, some pockets of mold growth were revealed. This unexpected turn caused the University to accelerate its plans of completely renovating Alvey; therefore, the design phase of Alvey’s renovation began immediately. Construction is slated to start in 2019.
One of the students relocated from Alvey to Eagle Landing, undeclared sophomore Bradley Torrington said that one day he got an email from the school saying that Alvey was getting renovated.
“The next thing I knew ResLife sent me an email saying that my roommate and I were being moved to Eagle Landing,” said Torrington. “I’m super happy about getting transferred to Eagle [Landing] because it has more space and all my friends are living there.”
Likewise, during the inspection of Arrington Hall, mold was found in the bathrooms. The original plan was to remedy the mold during scheduled maintenance. Shortly after discovering the mold, however, as stated in a later email sent out by Hunter Rauscher, “the building suffered significant flooding from a major plumbing issue on an upper floor. The problem persisted throughout the weekend and was discovered when workers returned on Monday morning.”
An examination of the building was conducted and a decision was made to proactively address existing and potential issues in the residence hall, even though the repair time required would extend beyond the summer break, said the aforementioned email.
The project will entail removal and replacement of all damaged building materials, mold remediation as needed, and improvement of Arrington’s HVAC system insulation. Anticipated project completion will be prior to the start of the spring semester.
Juliette Landphair, Vice President for Student Affairs, commented on the progress of the renovations for the two buildings.
“We have completed most of the demolition in Arrington and are on track for the spring re-opening,” said Landphair. “For the Alvey renovation, we have chosen an architect to begin work on the renovation.”
While some uncontrollable factors have impacted construction, UMW still plans to complete construction on schedule.
“Hurricane Florence put us behind a week,” said Landphair. “We are working steadily to make up that time.”
The students who were relocated to on campus living were permitted to keep their original meal plan. If the student was transferred to local housing complexes they were given the option of meal plans typically reserved for senior residents and residents of the UMW Apartments and Eagle Landing. The commuter meal plans were not available as an option regardless of how far away students were placed from campus.
A student who was moved to off campus housing and wished to remain anonymous, was upset that students were not able to purchase the cheaper commuter meal plan.
“I think it is unfair that the only meal plan available to those moved off campus is the residential meal plan,” said the student. “We are the very definition of commuter students”.
Juliette Landphair discussed what the university was doing to assist students in off-campus living and make the transition as smoothly as possible for them.
“We are monitoring the shuttle service for the students living in the Cobblestone and Seasons Apartments and will adjust based on usage and student feedback,” said Landphair. “It is our goal to get our students back on campus as soon as possible.”