Facilities Management needs to maintain history

Evan Watson/The News

The staff editorial is the majority opinion of The Murray State News Editorial Board.

Evan Watson/The News

Evan Watson/The News

Murray State’s campus has an old charm. Ivy-covered walls and nearly centuries-old buildings captivate and intrigue students when they realize the rich history this University has to offer.

Some buildings have remained active since the day Murray State Normal School was founded in 1923.

While we cherish these standing artifacts of our history, we have not done enough to maintain and renovate them so they can withstand more than 80 years of use.

In President Tim Miller’s budget address, he said that 60 percent of the buildings on campus are more than 50 years old and are in dire need of repair. These include residential colleges, class buildings and more.

On-campus students are constantly reminded of their outdated accommodations when they witness electrical shorts in wall outlets, rusted pipes and regular visits from plumbers, electricians and other forms of routine maintenance.

These buildings could arguably pose hazards to the students living there, and filling them while they are in need of maintenance aggravates the structural problems the residential colleges already have.

It makes us wonder if the proper measures are being taken to fully restore residential colleges or if the University is employing short-term solutions to long-term problems.

So far, two residential colleges underwent full-scale renovations and were closed for a year. Students were scrambled by the University and placed in Old Richmond Residential College as a halfway home for students who were assigned to live in the buildings during their renovation period.

Last semester, the push for higher student recruitment was capitalized as a way to increase University revenue.

The influx of incoming freshmen were welcomed by Murray State to rooms of four, empty promises of receiving campus housing and a heap of disorganization.

Murray State and Facilities Management have to prioritize the infrastructures of campus before pushing for higher enrollment.

Our facilities are falling apart and are full to the point of busting at the seams. This combination bodes an expensive and difficult future for the main campus.

Residential colleges are not the only buildings in need of maintenance. The infrastructures of the rest of campus are also approaching breaking points.

The fence surrounding the Bennie Purcell Tennis Courts has been known to shock students because of the deteriorating wiring that power the lights. The only solution to the problem was to shut the lights off. A temporary solution to a mounting problem.

We saw the swift demolition of Ordway, one of the oldest buildings on campus, after it was regarded as an integral part of the original campus. Was this something that could have been prevented with proper and regular maintenance?

If demolishing Ordway Hall was necessary, buildings such as Lovett Auditorium, Wrather?West Kentucky Museum and Wilson Hall may face the same fate in the near future.

These buildings are regularly used for classes, on-campus jobs and extracurriculars. They have the ability to serve a purpose, despite their age, and Facilities Management should recognize their importance.