College Courts renovations behind schedule

Jenny Rohl/The News College Courts apartments haven’t seen significant renovations in 20 years.
Jenny Rohl/The News College Courts apartments haven’t seen significant renovations in 20 years.

Jenny Rohl/The News
College Courts apartments haven’t seen significant renovations in 20 years.

Renovations on College Courts weren’t completed on schedule, but work on the apartment complex is continuing through the school year and into next summer until the improvements are finished.

Kim Oatman, chief Facilities Management officer, said about 50 percent of the scheduled renovations were completed this summer.

He said additional projects will be completed during the school year and the renovations will be finished by summer 2015.

“The reason that everything was not completed was a combination of limited time with which to get things done and limits on funding and resources,” Oatman said.

The renovations scheduled for this past summer included installing sprinklers, new windows and doors, a new hot water system, new flooring, exterior improvements on some buildings and asbestos abatement in some buildings.

Oatman said the flooring and five buildings of sprinklers were finished, as well as roofs for some buildings. New dumpster enclosures were built this summer as well as asbestos removed from buildings.

The projects not completed included the rest of the sprinkler installation, new windows and doors and the hot water system.

Oatman said the University slated about $2 million dollars for improvements to College Courts. After this summer approximately $1 million has been spent.

Oatman said Facilities Management has been trying to complete some renovations every summer for the past couple years.

“In the past we have installed all new HVAC systems, smoke alarm systems and renovations to the parking lots,” he said. “Prior to 2011, there had not been any significant renovations in the last 20 years.”

Jenny Rohl/The News Fifty percent of planned renovations have been completed on College Courts student housing.

Jenny Rohl/The News
Fifty percent of planned renovations have been completed on College Courts student housing.

College Courts, built from 1961 to 1966, consists of 12 buildings with 12 apartments in each building. According to the College Courts page on the University website, 132 are one-bedroom apartments open to married or single-parent students with two or three family members, graduate students or undergraduate students over 21, non-traditional students and faculty and staff members. The other 12 apartments have two bedrooms and are reserved for families with more than three members.

David Wilson, director of Housing and residence life, said there are 142 apartments available for occupancy and only 128 are occupied.

“We have a number of apartments that are being cleaned and we have a waiting list of students wanting to move in, so that number will increase over the next few weeks,” Wilson said.

College Courts, like Murray State’s residential colleges, have resident advisers for those living in the apartments. Sandy Crowell, junior from Edwardsville, Ill., has been a resident adviser for College Courts for two years.

Crowell said she thinks because of the renovations the buildings are holding up fine. Crowell’s block of apartments had flooring replaced the summer before last, and she said other buildings had floors replaced this summer.

She said she would like to see the rest of the sprinklers installed in all the buildings, as well as new, more efficient windows that can be easily opened.

“Eventually the University should rebuild College Courts to make the apartments safer and to ensure that they don’t fall apart,” Crowell said.

For now, renovations must suffice, as the next large-scale construction projects are New Franklin and White residential colleges.

 

Story by Kate Russell, Staff writer