South Hall works out maintenance kinks

The University’s newest residence hall, South Hall, has had its share of maintenance issues since its opening this fall, but a University official said this week such problems were common with new buildings.

The Office of Facilities Management received more than 50 work requests per week after move-in, Director of Facilities Management James Schrote said. But Schrote said the problems, which have been related to the building’s water temperature, air temperature, elevators and appliances, weren’t uncommon in new residence halls.

“South Hall, like most new buildings, requires some break-in time under the critical demand of full occupancy,” he said.

Schrote said the University worked with contractors to help resolve issues with appliances and the building’s hot water system, and said he thinks those issues are finished. One senior interviewed said her dishwasher flooded and she filed a FIXit request to resolve the issue.

“We reached out to the appropriate contractor to get them fixed, as these were warranty issues and their responsibility to fix. We feel those issues are behind us now.”

Senior Katherine Schuhmacher said her room had problems with hot water and the room’s thermostat. Schrote acknowledged the University could have better instructed residents on thermostat use.

“We probably should have done a better job orienting residents on the use of the thermostats,” he said.

Schrote said there have been “about 10 random elevator problems,” in the building. Senior Tom Keefe said the elevators break down at least once a week, but called the issue a minor inconvenience.

Schuhmacher also noted the elevator issues, as did senior Jess Penney. Penney did say the University generally fixed the problems in a timely manner.

All of this is normal, according to Schrote.

“The volume of problems we had in South Hall was generally consistent with our experiences at other new halls, with the exception that we had more appliance issues than elsewhere,” Schrote said.

“At this time we feel comfortable the major bugs have been worked out, though we continue to work an assortment of maintenance requests typical of our other residence halls,” he added.

Despite these inconveniences, residents have found this has not taken away from the overall experience in South Hall.

“I don’t deserve to live in a place this luxurious,” senior Nic Gerschman said. “It’s a culmination of four years of interesting housing.”

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