Throughout this school year, residential halls have been experiencing several types of maintenance issues, including extremely hot or cold water in showers, broken washers and dryers and poor elevator functionality.
Water temperature in showers has been an issue in Tower Court and the Quint since the beginning of the academic year. Director of Facilities Management Mike Lane said water issues in Tower and the Quint are a result of failing shower valves.
“To alleviate the hot water problem in Quint residence halls, Facilities is planning to replace the shower valves in Quint residential halls as soon as possible,” said Lane. “In addition, the main hot water heater that produces hot water for the residential halls will be replaced this summer. After the system is replaced, consistent temperature and pressure of the hot water can be maintained to all of the residential buildings, which will also help improve conditions.”
Extreme water temperatures have created uncomfortable shower conditions for students. Tower resident Aisha Paz ’26 said that attempted maintenance on the showers last semester did not lead to any improvements.
“Last semester, when they decided to do maintenance in Tower after everyone was complaining about the lack of hot water, they decided to do it on a really cold day,” said Paz. “We were able to take a shower during that day, and the worst part was that it was postponed to the next day, so people had to go two days without showering. When they finally fixed the water, it was so hot that some people’s skin got really red after showering. The fourth floor of Tower Court East always has problems. There’s only boiling hot water or cold water.”
Last semester, there was a campus-wide issue of broken washers and dryers. Facilities replaced all of the washers and dryers in the residences halls, yet some residents are still experiencing issues with laundry. Beebe resident Melanie Trejo Salazar ’26 said she has come across malfunctioning machines while doing laundry.
“In the laundry room [in Beebe] when you start the machine sometimes the water leaks out,” said Trejo Salazar. “I don’t know where, but I leave my clothes in the washer, and when I come back there’s water all over the floor. It’s only happened twice, but this was after all of the washers and dryers were replaced.”
Water issues on one floor can become a problem for residents on another floor. Shafer resident Mia Rivera ’26 said she recalled a time when water problems on the second floor impacted the first floor.
“Sometime last semester there was an email sent out about water falling on the Shafer second floor bathroom. [Water] broke through the first floor ceiling and ruined the piano,” said Rivera. “The piano and the ceiling are still broken. This semester, we got another email saying that the water from the second floor bathroom leaked through the ceiling again. The water was all over the first floor bathroom, and it soaked into the carpet in hallways. They told us to stay in our room because they were afraid that the ceiling would fall on someone.”
Elevators have concerned students due to their tendencies to stall. Trejo Salazar ’26 said the elevators in Beebe are often inefficient.
“The elevators take forever, even if it’s just going to the floor above. When it opens the doors, it takes forever, and when you try to close the doors, it takes forever,” said Trejo Salazar. “There was one time when I was in the basement, and the elevator showed that it was on the second floor. We pushed the button for it to come down to the basement, and it showed that the elevator was moving down to the basement, but then it started going back up and stopped at the third floor.”
To alleviate elevator problems, Facilities contracted a new service provider to make sure elevators are safe to use across campus. Lane said the College started elevators in residential halls in April 2019.
“The college has taken a proactive approach to the reported issues. The College has modernized elevators across the campus,” said Lane. “13 elevators [in] Bates, Beebe, Claflin, Freeman, McAfee, Severance, Stone Davis and Tower Court have been modernized or renovated. We will continue to upgrade the elevators according to our modernization plan.”
The College aims to resolve facility issues in residential halls through a $300 million renovation plan. Lane said that this plan will be executed over multiple summers within the coming years.
“Half of Severance Hall was upgraded last summer, and the other half will be completed this summer,” said Lane. “Renovation work will begin in Tower Hall this summer, and will be completed in summer 2024. The design phase of Claflin Hall has begun, and Claflin Hall will be renovated beginning in summer 2024. Renovation of Quint halls will begin in 2025, and will take a few years to complete.”
Students should contact the Facilities Customer Service Desk at 781-283-2767 or complete a work order to address any maintenance issues they may encounter.
“The best way to make staff aware of issues is by contacting the service desk,” said Lane. “They respond as quickly as possible once they are aware of issues.”