Terrace Hall continues housing students while future status under debate

William Schertz

Old building survives one additional year

Randy Letz, junior biological anthropology major, and his mother, Lisa Letz of Mentor, attempt to drag a rolling cart down the steps of Terrace Hall Saturday morning.

Credit: Jason Hall

Terrace Hall will house students once again this year after a previous decision had been made to close it.

The residence hall was scheduled to be demolished sometime this spring, but was reopened due to the large number of incoming resident students.

“There was more demand for residence hall rooms than was expected,” said David Creamer, vice president of administration. “The plan right now is we will defer everything 12 months.”

Residence Services made the decision to reopen the hall at the end of July when they realized that the number of requests for exemption from living on campus was not as high as in previous years.

“At the end of the week (of Aug. 27, 2004), we had processed and approved 1,704 exemptions from living on campus,” Director of Residence Services Betsy Joseph said in an e-mail interview. “This year, for the same time frame, we have only received and processed 1,315.”

Joseph said Terrace Hall currently houses 315 students, only 147 of which are freshmen.

“We have few students requesting to commute from home, and we are also seeing more upperclassmen and older students wanting to live on campus,” she said.

“To accommodate the requests from upper-class students or graduate students for on-campus housing, the third floor of Terrace has been designated as all single-occupancy rooms,” Joseph said.

Joseph said that for the most part, students who were assigned to Terrace Hall signed up for a housing assignment very late.

Resident Services had to go through a lot of extra work this summer to get the hall ready in time for students, Joseph said.

“The decision to re-open Terrace resulted in a number of offices across the university working together to prepare the building for student occupancy,” she said. “We had to move furniture to set up for the appropriate occupancy, clean the building, make room repairs, paint some student rooms and common areas, etc.”

Initially, the university considered other alternatives such as rooming students with resident assistants and putting them in student lounges temporarily, but eventually decided against it.

“We made the decision to go with the reopening of Terrace, because we believe this provides students with the best accommodations and does not require them to move into a permanent assignment once other spaces open up,” Joseph said.

Joseph said housing students in Terrace Hall may not be permanent since Residence Services is looking into changing housing assignments in the spring.

“Traditionally, spring semester occupancy is less than the fall because of students graduating, students teaching out of the area, doing practicum, being academically dismissed, choosing not to return for the spring semester, etc.,” Joseph said. “Once we have our final fall numbers, we will make a decision regarding whether there will be a need to keep Terrace open for the spring semester.”

Contact technology reporter William Schertz at [email protected].