Working on a strategic plan addressing the housing demand from enrollment growth and filling key staff positions dominated the year. Filling vacancies in positions for the Director for Residential Facilities, Director for Residence Education, Assistant Director for Residence Education – Training & Staff Development, Assistant Director for Building Services and Assistant Director for Construction and Management provided strong leadership for the department.
Strategic planning focused on updating the 2004 Housing Master Plan, commissioning a facility audit of major systems in residence halls five years or older or not scheduled for major renovation, a marketing analysis of student housing demand, renovating and opening the south end of Walton Hall, starting the renovation of Hotz Hall in order to return it back into a residence hall, and starting a new residence hall complex called Founders Hall. The master planning process identified the area south of Pomfret Hall for expansion to add semi-suites to meet the housing demand identified in market analysis.
Returning Hotz Hall to student housing required relocation of offices located in the hall. University Housing paid $4.9 million to support the university purchase of uptown campus property and more than $270 thousand to relocate housing offices to temporary quarters on Stadium Drive, in Pomfret Hall, and in Futrall Hall. A new housing office is planned on Douglas Street.
Fiscal year 2011 bonds were reallocated after scheduled projects came in higher than planned. Bathrooms were renovated, energy recovery units were installed, and all fan coil units were replaced in C & D wings of Pomfret Hall. All fan coil units were replaced in Futrall Hall, and additional funding was allocated to Hotz and Founders Hall projects. Because of mechanical work done last year in Humphreys Hall, housing invested additional funds to air-condition the hall.
University Housing contracted with Crowne Apartments on Razorback Road again for this year providing additional living options for upper-class students and adequate space for freshmen. Overflow rooms in various halls were used at the start of the fall semester, and six women were assigned temporarily to Staybridge Inn & Suites. Housing re-assigned the women to permanent residence hall spaces by the end of the first week of classes. Upon hall opening, Housing had 5,486 contracted students, a 9% increase over last year.
Conference revenue, including guest housing rental, was $343,117 with 3,541 participants staying for a total of 19,801 bed nights. Residence hall classroom usage by academic departments was 1,774 bookings reserved for a total of 3,528 hours with an estimated attendance of 56,150. The grand total of all campus groups’ usage was 2,779 bookings reserved for 7,693 hours with an estimated attendance of 82,136.
Other projects or actions University Housing completed this year: finance area was an alpha tester for the new university system RazorBuy an on-line procurement process scheduled to be released in mid-2012; new data switches at Northwest Quad; life safety work in Buchanan-Droke and Gladson-Ripley; preparing implementation of the new web based product by TMA (on-line work order and inventory system) and collaborating with Facilities Management on campus wide bids for pest control.