Dorm construction not finished as students return to campus

MANSFIELD – About 250 Mansfield University students scheduled to move into the new Sycamore Residence Hall at the beginning of the fall semester will be moving into Maple or Laurel manors for the time being, until construction of the new hall is completed.

According to Chuck Colby, associate vice president for student affairs, the new residence hall was slated to be open and ready for students by the beginning of the fall semester Monday, but “a rainy summer and hidden conditions” discovered by contractors, mostly when the foundation was being laid late last year and early this year, have caused delays.

Understandably, Colby said, the returning residents who lived Hickory or Oak hall last year and wanted to upgrade to the newer hall are “the most disappointed.”

“We want to make sure everything is done right to ensure that our current students and future generations have the safe and positive living environment they deserve,” he said.

So, to make up for the inconvenience of having to share a bathroom with an entire floor of students, each student affected will have his or her own private double room, he said, and they will receive a prorated bill based on actual move-in date to the new hall.

“We want to inconvenience them as little as possible,” he said.

Colby said he hopes it won’t be longer than about a month, but he could not say exactly when Sycamore Hall might be ready.

The last residence hall under construction is Spruce, which is scheduled for completion by Nov. 1, Colby said.

“That hall will include an Einstein’s Bagel shop, and student suites will have a higher level of privacy,” he added.

Students affected have been advised of the situation by email.

“We’ve been watching this all summer and we knew it wasn’t going to be ready, so we didn’t want to wait till students arrived to tell them then,” he said.

New students arrive today.