New Rooms Lowers Percentage of Freshmen in Triples
As the 2015-2016 school year came to an end, there was a lot of buzz around the housing shortage. Last year, Skidmore News spoke with Ryan Ballantine, Assistant Director of Residential Life for Operations, while reporting on the issue. Ballantine said that it was too early to know how many freshmen will have to live in triples, but he predicted it would be close to 100 percent.
Ballantine’s prediction last spring turned out to be wrong. This year, as of September 15th, approximately 70 percent of freshmen live in triples. Not only is this lower than the number Ballantine predicted, it is also a smaller percentage compared to last year. On September 15th of 2015, 91% of the first-year class lived in triples.
With approximately 25 more students in this year’s first year class compared to last year,, some work had to be done to bring down the percentage of freshmen in triples. To help achieve this, 56 new rooms were built over the summer. “New rooms were built in every residence hall. The rooms built were a combination of double, single and triple rooms,” said Ballantine. Six of the new rooms were even the spacious and highly sought after elevator singles in Jonsson Tower.
Of the 56 new rooms, some were integrated into existing suites, but some also involved the creation of entirely new suites that included building new bathrooms. The new rooms were built in former common rooms or Head Resident apartments (where the Area Coordinators use to live), said Ballantine. With the decrease in freshmen in triples and the new rooms being built, Ballantine said that “at this time we do not have a shortage of housing.” Though, concerns about the future remain. Dean of Students, Cerri Banks told the paper in a meeting that an “outside review” of on-campus housing is being conducted. She also said she will be working with The Office of Residential Life to determine “what type of residential life do we want on campus.” President Philip Glotzbach also mentioned that the administration is looking again at building another dormitory, something that had been off the table the last few years.