Binghamton University has postponed a renovation of Cayuga Hall. The residence hall will remain open in 2015-16, helping to meet an increased housing demand.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen
Challenge met to house students
August 3, 2015Tweet
With an unprecedented number of students seeking to live on campus for the upcoming academic year, Binghamton University looked at a number of options, and made two key decisions with the goals being to house all students who signed up for on-campus housing, including transfers, and to avoid as many “super-occupancy” rooms as possible. First, Binghamton has postponed a scheduled renovation of Cayuga Hall that would have taken the College-in-the Woods residence hall offline this year. Secondly, the University will undertake a restoration of Old Digman Hall during the upcoming year so that it is available for use beginning in fall 2016.
“The one-year postponement of the Cayuga Hall renovation will be a big factor in helping us avoid having a large number of super-occupancy rooms where a third student would be housed in a room designed for two,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Brian Rose. “Keeping it open for the 2015-2016 academic year adds more than 230 beds back into the housing stock mix and will help meet the increased on-campus housing demand. The Office of Residential Life quickly changed gears to bring Cayuga back into the housing plan for 2015-16.”
“We remain committed to maintaining strong residential communities with superior facilities and will ensure that Cayuga Hall preserves Binghamton University’s residential college model by integrating new and returning students,” said Suzanne Howell, director of Residential Life and senior associate dean of students. “We’ll uphold our long practice of housing new and returning students in the same hall and on the same floors to foster community identity and pass down traditions.
“We’ve reached out to former Cayuga residents to let them know their hall will remain open,” she said. “We know that Cayuga residents are full of spirit and anticipate that many will be excited to return to their residential hall.”
Keeping Cayuga open will make a large impact, but the University still expects to have about 100 super-occupancy rooms to begin the fall semester, spread across campus.
But students assigned to super-occupancy housing aren’t likely to remain there for long.
“We hope that by the end of October, we’ll be able to absorb them into rooms that become vacant,” Howell said. “We always have some melt and, based upon past experience, these students will be placed into a non-triple within the first semester. This also helps us keep the room rates stable as we maintain 100 percent occupancy.”
Students assigned to super-occupancy housing will pay a pro-rated room rate based on how long they remain in the temporary triple. Residential Life has posted information on the Web with tips and explanations for these students.
It will nonetheless be important to complete the Cayuga renovation next year. Cayuga is the first of 10 residence halls in CIW and Hinman that will undergo renovation over the next 10 to 11 years.
We’ve made a heavy investment in building new facilities with the Newing and Dickinson projects, but it is equally important to maintain the functionality and appeal of some of our aging halls,” said Rose, so we cannot continue to postpone renovations indefinitely. “Accordingly, to provide flexibility in the future to accommodate strong on-campus housing demand, we’re restoring Old Digman, a building we hadn’t planned to use again for housing,” he said. “In fall 2016, that will give us the flexibility up or down 150 people to avoid excessive tripling and accommodate fluctuations inherent in enrollment and housing sign-ups, while we still work to bring up our older buildings so they’re comparably attractive.”
Rose indicated he was particularly happy to have found a solution that will allow the University to continue to house all incoming transfer students who wish to live on campus. “There are a significant number of transfer students, and we have found that it’s important to their success to spend at least one year on campus to help them connect and engage,” he said.