The Paw Print
The north side of campus has undergone a dramatic $30 million transformation over the course of the past few months, continuing a series of scheduled upgrades to the residence halls on the ASC campus.
The new four-story “Residences at Rex” apartment complex is nearly complete, in addition to the new adjacent parking lot and North Campus Green. Initially, the apartments were scheduled to be completed by early August, with the stadium section completed by mid-August, but a series of complications, including some materials not arriving on time, have caused delays to the projects.
However, Bruce Del Tondo, director of auxiliary services, said that there has been enough recent progress to open the north section of apartments for student occupancy starting on August 31. (At press time, there is no estimated date of completion for the apartments on the south side of the complex.)
“The majority of the north side has been completed, but some minor work will continue over the next couple of weeks,” said Del Tondo, “and we’re hoping that the renovations in Girault will be completed by mid-September.”
A total of 70 students have been living off campus at area hotels because of the delayed renovations on both the “Residences at Rex” apartments and Girault Hall. A shuttle has made 16 scheduled trips per day between the hotels and campus, and a complimentary meal plan has been afforded to those students as well.
Of the 70 students in hotels, 48 will be moved into the north side of the “Residences at Rex,” and the remaining students will fill in rooms left vacant by students who didn’t show up or cancelled their arrangements in various spots in other residence halls on campus until enough progress is made on the rest of the construction.
In addition to the construction on the stadium, Girault Hall has undergone major renovations as well, including new windows in the rooms and new bathrooms in each hall. The exterior of the building is also being remodeled.
More sod will be laid down on the North Campus Green on August 31, essentially completing that project.
The La Mesa Dining Hall has also been remodeled. “The renovated dining hall will be open starting next week, and students will notice an entirely new environment in there as well,” said Del Tondo. “There are basically three different types of seating, and there is more of a restaurant-type environment.”
The Department of Housing and Residence Life has incurred a steep price for the delays in construction, a number that Del Tondo estimates is somewhere around $90,000.
“We’re going to lose some revenue, because we’re going to pro-rate the cost of room and board for those who haven’t been living on campus. Add the complimentary meals, the cost of the hotel rooms, and the shuttle service, it’s going to add up to quite a bit.”
Del Tondo added that there was a penalty in the form of liquidated damages for being late on the completion of the projects, but could not disclose how much.
In spite of the delays and added costs, Del Tondo is proud of the transformation on campus.
“The students have been accommodating and really understanding throughout all of this, it’s been really great.”
“The north side of campus looks and feels completely different. There is a sort of renewed energy over here. A lot of people are excited about it, and despite the fact that it’s a little overdue, the finished product will be awesome.”
More construction is in the works at the moment, as a new 140-space parking lot north of Coronado Hall D-Wing is estimated to be completed by October 1, and new turf will be laid down on the soccer and lacrosse field in the coming weeks as well.
Del Tondo also said that the goal is to continue to renovate the residence halls over the next couple of years, if possible.
“We definitely want to continue to upgrade our facilities, but we haven’t specifically identified anything yet. We’re halfway done with Girault and Coronado, and we’re hoping to finish those areas over the next few summers.”