By Cody Funderburk, Staff Writer
The Villages are known as two of the most communal dormitories on campus, making them a perfect home for students who stay on campus and work during summer break. Recently, however, there has been chatter about intentions to renovate the Village facilities during the summer. If this renovation takes place, it will obstruct the availability of these dorms to student workers this year.
It is important to note that none of the anticipated renovations have technically been approved at this point. The reconditioning is supposed to transpire this summer, although there is a possibility that the application for renovation could be denied, thereby delaying the repair until a later date.
For students working over summer, the Villages create an impression of independence,where they can return home to the community of fellow student workers in the evenings after working all day. Resident Director of the Villages, Kenda Zappasodi, who has also stayed in the Villages while working over summer, has a lot to say about the experience. “I really love the whole atmosphere,” says Zappasodi. “It’s like a whole different school because you have all these groups on campus, and it’s nice because you can go to work, and come home, and just chill.”
The main objective of this proposed renovation is to install a new air conditioning system. However, according to Gary Bigelow, Director of FMTS, other renovations will also take place. “The interior walls and ceilings will be cleaned and painted; the wood window trim will receive a much needed sanding and a protective finish applied; the flooring will be “deep” cleaned and polished, while the sheet flooring in the bathroom areas will be removed as necessary and replaced or where appropriate the concrete sub-floor will be ground, cleaned and sealed; the appliances will be cleaned and checked for proper operation; the college owned furniture will be cleaned, repaired as necessary and re-installed; the exterior of the building will be cleaned and painted where necessary; cold water lines that are in unheated spaces will have valves installed and insulated.” If these renovations take place, the Villages will definitely be closed during the summer. In that case, according to the Work Program Office, work-contracted students will be staying in the Sage Circle area as an alternative.
Even though dormitories in Sage Circle may feel more like a campus and less like a “village,” there are still enjoyable and distinguishing aspects about them as well. For instance, the fire circle in the middle of the cul-de-sac is highly regarded as a communal focal point. Also, the location is convenient because it is more proximate to the main campus than the Villages, so students working in that area will have less of a commute.
Ultimately, the possibility that the Villages will undergo renovation has both positive and negative consequences. On one hand, when students return to stay in the Villages for the fall semester, there will probably be a shiny new air conditioning unit and potentially a fresh coat of paint as well. On the other hand, students who normally stay in the Villages over summer will be relocated, which may disappoint some. In the long term, however, the renovations will be very beneficial for residents of the Village.