Downtown · Evansdale · For The Students · Housing · Uncategorized · West Virginia University

WVU chooses to build more residence halls while many are in desperate need of updates

Two weeks ago on Morgantown Matters I looked at the unpleasant conditions many students face when living in older apartments and houses in the downtown area. But in some cases, students are experiencing adverse living conditions in the University’s own residence halls.

It seems as if WVU is choosing to use their money to build more properties rather than update the ones they already have.

Out of the 10 residence halls on campus (not including the International House), seven were constructed before 1970. The remaining three have been built since 2006, with Honors Hall located on the Downtown campus and Lincoln and the newly-finished Oakland Hall on Evansdale.

And while some of these older dorms don’t have as many problems, several are starting to see the effects of years of housing college students with minimal updates.

Rae Manning, a psychology major, lived in Dadisman Hall her freshman year, a popular choice for those students wishing to live downtown. Dadisman is also one of the oldest dorms on campus.

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Image via dadismanstalnaker.housing.wvu.edu

“Dadisman was really gross,” Manning says, “It often smelled like vomit and urine, especially after the weekend. And the spin cycle on some of the washing machines didn’t work, so my clothes would come out of the wash dripping wet. And then some of the dryers didn’t even have heat.”

Manning says that everything was in need of an update, even the bathrooms.

“The toilets were old and small, and the shower walls were flimsy,” she says, “It just wasn’t a great environment to try and get ready in in the mornings.”

“There was no air conditioning, and the heat only had two settings–sweating or no heat at all. We had to keep one window open almost all through the winter to be comfortable,” Manning adds.

So with living conditions like these, why isn’t the University choosing to update current dorms rather than start from scratch and build new ones?

It’s mainly in part with their plan to expand across the board. They’ve completed countless projects in the four years I’ve been a student here–the art museum, Evansdale Crossing, U Place, the new Student Health and CPASS building, and several buildings on the Evansdale campus. They’re even working on updating the PRT. So why not just add a few more dorms in the mix too?

In an Student Housing Master Plan published in 2012, the University revealed plans to renovate Towers starting in 2016, but no other renovations are planned for the ten-year span. So unless something happens, no downtown campus dorms will be updated until after 2022.

Jenna Clements, a senior exercise physiology major, disagrees with the University’s plan.

“It’s a shame that they prioritize expanding the area while places with perfect locations on campus are rotting when just some routine maintenance would keep them in fine shape,” Clements says, “I absolutely believe they need to prioritize keeping up the dorms that are already here before continuing to expand.”

 

 

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4 thoughts on “WVU chooses to build more residence halls while many are in desperate need of updates

  1. I just want to say first, I read all of your group’s posts this week and they are all very good!

    Hearing some of the conditions these students had to live in really makes me upset, and I didn’t think about it at the time, but Boreman North wasn’t very great when I was there, either, especially in the warmer months with no AC. I bought like 7 fans. Also, I think it was last year when Stalnaker flooded and a pipe burst and a bunch of students’ belongings were ruined. For as much as it costs students, dorms should all be a lot more maintained and updated!! Love the final quote you used, and I hope the eyes of the University see it.

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  2. I completely agree with the point that this is trying to make. I lived in Summit, which was relatively new and relatively nice, but I had friends who lived in places like Dadisman and Boreman and I was appalled at how miserable and dirty those places were. Four years later, nothing has changed. They don’t call Dadisman “the Dirty D” for nothing.

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  3. I like the idea of adding in the screenshot of a tweet. I like to do that because it shows who’s tweeting and what they’re tweeting about. Additionally, these quotes were very compelling to the story. It helped show that this is not a topic that should be overlooked. I read the previous “reply’s” as well and I agree with Ashley, I hope that the university sees this. I think it is a great example of frustration that students and their parents are paying for. They are NOT getting what they’re paying for.

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  4. As a former resident of Dadisman Hall, I can attest to the outdated living conditions WVU still offers it’s students. They don’t call it the “Dirty D” for nothing. Exposed plumbling in the bathroom was constantly leaking, the lack of AC made it near impossible to sleep when it was hot out. I had to go three floors down just to find a functioning water fountain! Bugs were constantly an issue as well. Overall, the downtown housing options are in dire need of repair. However, focus on Evansdale expansion has put the University’s focus elsewhere. It’s think it’s time WVU start valuing the history of the downtown campus more and restoring it’s iconic buildings.

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