By Kelsi Peace, Managing Editor
Sherrod residents can breathe a little easier – they won’t be homeless as a result of recent attention to the declining married student and graduate housing facility.
John Delony, director of residence life, announced to residents in an e-mail Thursday that in a meeting with administrators on Tuesday, the decision was made to maintain Sherrod as a housing facility for three years, allowing residents to graduate. The university will not accept any new residents in the complex.
Dr. Jean-Noel Thompson, vice president and dean of student life, said administrators are still examining demolition costs, and he estimated demolishing the complex could take about five years because of the staggering cost.
“We know that we don’t want to invest in the current facilities,” Thompson said, adding that discussion of the property’s future is ongoing.
“It just doesn’t make sense to invest a lot of money in it,” Thompson said. “For those who still live there, we need to make it a reasonable living process.”
While graduation may be a few years off, residents will note some changes around the facility. In his announcement, Delony said laundry facilities will double – from two washers and driers to four – and 10 light fixtures will be installed. The lighting comes as a response to complaints from residents that the dark laundry room, which is located in a vacant apartment in the complex, was a safety hazard.
The laundry room is also slated to receive new paint, new carpet and tables for folding laundry.
Also in the name of security, Delony said administrators are looking into the possibility of installing a phone line in the laundry room, and the university ordered 10 replacement doors. Some residents complained their doors warped and could not close after the heavy rainfall in August.
The little changes play a role in making the complex livable for current residents, whose time at ACU and in Sherrod will be honored, Thompson said.
“I feel in the past, there just hasn’t been a direct line and a consistent line of communication between the residents and others,” Thompson said. “We’ve cleaned up the communication.”
Discussion of the complex is widespread.
Thompson said at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, Dr. Royce Money, president of the university, participated in a follow up discussion on the complex.
“Even from the top,” Thompson said, “There’s quite a bit of care and responsible action to doing this right.”