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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


New Dorms to be Finished by Summer, Officials Say The Dorms Will Not Eliminate Tripling

A backhoe latched on to a stack of wood planks and lifted them high into the air.  Mounds of dirt and gravel still surround the unfinished structures on the corner of West Drive and Circle Road, while areas of finished facade peak through blue scaffoldings.

For Stony Brook University freshmen, packed into dorm rooms meant for two, the construction of two more residence halls could ease tensions. However, completion of the halls, slated to open in Fall ’09, has been severely delayed.  And although the additional 600 beds will decrease tripling at Stony Brook University, it won’t eliminate it.

“There are far worse situations,” said Dallas Bauman, assistant vice president of campus residences, referring to the more than 300 freshmen tripled into one room on the West Campus. Demand for rooms is somewhat “elastic”, based on the number current student residents and new enrollees that are eligible.

According to the Office of Campus Residences, almost half of tripled students volunteer so they can reside with friends.

But some students, like Freshman Seahynun An, say the resident application forms are confusing and doesn’t recall volunteering to triple. The Mathematics major can’t imagine that anyone would want to.  “There’s only room for 2.  There are two desks and 2 closets.” More confusing to the freshman is the cost of doubling versus tripling.  “Is it less money?” An asked.  But not all tripled students complain.

Unlike An, Yusha Hiraman volunteered to triple for her sophomore year. Now an alumni waiting to enter graduate school, the 21 year old says although it was tough living with two other people, “It was manageable. The easiest part was knowing who I was living with, so I had an expectation of the living conditions.  The worst part was living next to the bathroom.” In contrast to An, Hiraman says there was adequate room for her and two other roommates.  “It was a converted lounge in Greeley College, Roosevelt Quad.  There was three of everything, so we didn’t have to split anything.”

The two unnamed residence halls will be completely wireless capable, feature suite style quads and a 3-part bathroom with a toilet room, shower room, and sink area for privacy. Rooms that are handicapped and wheelchair accessible will be single occupied. One of the structures may be designated 24- hour quiet, according to Bauman.

As to which of the 9000 SBU residents will occupy the new residence halls, Bauman says priority for the new buildings has not been finalized yet and is to be announced prior to room selection. They will not come from specific buildings. Usually first priority for room selections goes to full-time students, living on campus in good academic standing, who have resided on campus for less than 8 semesters  “We don’t triple upper division students,” Bauman added.

When questioned about the numerous delays, Bauman explained that the school went through a complicated bidding process and was only able to secure a builder on the second try.  Afterwards, the Roosevelt cafeteria had to be demolished first in Fall 2007, then the foundation for the new structures was laid in March 2008.

More than two years since the project began, Bauman says he cannot give a concrete date as to when it will be completed and ready for occupants. He says only that construction should be completed in March or April, and that it may not be occupied until next Fall 2010.

Included in the project are two separate structures and The Center for Global Studies and Human Development, with a conference room with the capacity to seat 350 people. It will cost Stony Brook University 60 million dollars, approximately $100,000 per bed, paid for through housing fees from residing students.  Upon completion, officials hope the building will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified, a rating system developed by the United States Green Building Council to encourage responsible environmental practices.

In addition, a new 400-bed student residence hall is planned for the Mendelsohn Quad. At press time, there was no word from officials as to when construction will begin.

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