By: Tamarah Marston, Staff Writer
After two years of Lockwood being vacant, the reopened residence hall at UMF continues to leave eager students angry and unsettled. Between ongoing construction and a new-found cockroach problem, the high expectations UMF had for its first ever independent residence hall may be just the opposite.
UMF made the initial decision to close Lockwood because enrollment was down and the number of students living on campus was decreasing. Solutions to attract students to UMF and on-campus living were suggested and it was ultimately decided to reopen Lockwood for the 2015-2016 school year. Kayla Girardin, a junior secondary education and math major and former community assistant was involved in the planning of making Lockwood more appealing.
“I wouldn’t have known so much if I wasn’t a CA,” said Girardin.“There was a big drive for reopening it and making it a new place.”Some new highlights to Lockwood were having the dorms be all singles, have no meal plan so the cost of living on campus would be less expensive, and omitting the surveillance of a CA living in the residence hall.
When signing up for housing became available for students, they were under the impression that renovations would be completed by the start of the school year. However, Ricker Addition flooding put a large damper on the renovation plans. “It was unexpected and cost a lot of money that wasn’t accounted for,” said Girardin. “It was known it wouldn’t be 100% completed by the time school began, but it should have been done by now.”
When students began moving into Lockwood in early September, they were surprised to see the residence hall still under construction. Mykala Motecalvo, a junior psychology major, said “I was surprised, but optimistic.” Motecalvo said she signed up to live in Lockwood in April and expected to work together with other Lockwood residents to formulate their own rules.
“I expected to have a community kitchen on the first floor with two stoves, two dishwashers, and one fridge,” said Montecalvo. Like many other Lockwood residents, Montecalvo is frustrated. “If I would have known of all the problems still existing, I wouldn’t have signed the contract. I was under the impression it would be finished by now. There shouldn’t be a drill in my ear at eight o’clock in the morning,” said Montecalvo.
Recently, there was a hall meeting to discuss the issues with members of Student Life. Construction, noise, and a request for money back were brought up at the meeting. The largest issue was the recent outbreak of cockroaches in the building. “It could be from a potential bathroom leak on the third floor,” Montecalvo said. “It’s unsure, but members from Student Life seemed irritated they weren’t contacted sooner about the issue and will call the ‘bug man’ as soon as possible.”
After the meeting residents are still unaware how long construction will be going on and when the cockroach issue will be resolved.