Winkler Residence Hall renovations will cause housing rates to increase

Joshua Farmer

Director of Housing and Residence Life Tom Kane said Winkler Residence Hall will be renovated this spring.

Kane said that university does not receive money from tuition and fees or the state. Everything Housing does is based upon the rent student’s pay.

When housing does a standard renovation project, such as Cone, Lovill or Belk it costs every student who lives on campus between $100 and $125, Kane said.

“We have to raise the rates that much just to pay the debt,” Kane said.
Housing is raising rates for next year by $100 to pay for Winkler’s renovations and another $100 raise will occur the year after that in order to “take care of Belk,” Kane said.

“We have 10 more years of renovations to do,” Kane said. “We are trying to make sure that those rate increases are comparable with what our sister schools are doing and we aren’t pricing ourselves out of the market.”

Physical Plant Director Mike O’Connor said, “We’ve been renovating for a long time so we have pretty good cost information.”

The information provides the university with a good idea of how much each renovation will cost because a lot of dorms are very similar, O’Connor said.

O’Connor said that the cost is estimated by calculating the cost per square foot for past renovations of similar residence halls. The cost is then applied to the square footage of the prospective renovation.

O’Connor said this gives housing a “good ballpark cost estimate” of how much money the university must borrow for the projects and how much housing fees will rise.

“As we move through the design process we are constantly updating our cost,” O’Connor said.
Vice Chancellor for Student Development Cindy Wallace said, “in every [residence hall] renovation there has been something we have tried to add” such as more community and study space.

Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Development Dino DiBernardi said when a renovation project is started, a staging area is established.

The staging area is done in a way that “effects the area the least” by making the staging area as small as possible for the least impact on the surrounding area, DiBernardi said.

The next residence hall to be renovated is Belk Hall, Kane said.

Story: STEPHANIE SANSOUCY, Senior News Reporter