North townhouse renovations halted by COVID-19

Donovan WilsonReporter

The Townhouse construction that had begun last year has been suspended heading into this semester to allow for the use of every townhouse unit as a quarantining unit. 

Construction on the north campus townhouses began during 2020. Construction had then been completed on two of the four sets of houses therefore Townhouse A and Townhouse B are complete but Townhouse C and Townhouse D remain untouched. The process has been halted until an indefinite date but most likely the summer of 2021, after this semester. 

“The construction work on townhouse B was almost identical to that of the construction on townhouse A and the same will go for townhouses C and D,” said Robert Demezzo, director of residence life. 

The major new additions to the townhouses during construction have been and will continue to be new kitchens, appliances, flooring and entirely new bathrooms. In addition to all of these more aesthetic additions, all the renovated units have new HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems. The Townhouse B units specifically received items including new microwaves, being specific to those units so it is foreseeable that little tweaks like that will be done as needed. 

The project is currently behind schedule as Townhouse C should have already been under construction per the original plan. The team working on these renovations had to ask for and receive extra time and budget in order to ensure they will finish this project. Due to this halt on the renovations, the townhouses are expected to be done and hopefully open to students by the 2021-2022 academic year. 

“One of the major additions that we are really happy about is improving the security concerns and making all the doors on the townhouses autolock,” said Nora Anderson, a residence life coordinator and hall director of the north campus midrise and townhouses.  

A major problem with the townhouses before the renovation was concerns of low security as the townhouses are essentially on their own but do not boast much security outside of what you’d find in an already more secure north campus midrise room. Now, however, the doors have auto lock systems which means the door will automatically lock behind you when you leave the townhouse. In addition to that, the doors themselves are also entirely new as opposed to just the new lock systems.  

As of right now, the townhouses are being used for quarantine only so obviously the students who live there cannot leave during this time. To help with this, food is stocked in the fridge prior to their arrival so they can eat when they get there. There is also a large bin placed outside of the door that Sodexo, the campus’s food supplier, drops food into daily for the quarantined students in the townhouses. 

“At least start it at a different time, we are about to be wrapping up and the cases are going up this week anyways,” said history major Daniella Occchineri, a sophomore. 

This was a comment made by a student during the original construction in November of last year. It is interesting feedback as it is proving to possibly be sound advice as just one semester later, all progress has been halted until at least the summer. A lot of this is due to the aforementioned spike in numbers which has been insanely higher compared to when this interview was conducted.  

The construction that has been completed on the townhouses has proven to be very worth all the time and money, the only thing that remains up in the air is if the timing was correct as students cannot currently live in the townhouse buildings and construction on townhouses C and D has not even begun yet. 

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