The new residence hall on campus, Holland House, was set to open this fall. However, the construction work on the building has been delayed due to COVID-19.
Director of Residence Life, Housing and Dining Services, Gary Stewart, oversees all on-campus housing. He shared what has been going on in regards to the Holland House no longer opening this fall.
“The new residence hall was on a short delivery time frame to begin with, but with labor issues, delivery of building materials, etc., it was apparent it would not be completed for August move-in,” Stewart said.
Stewart said the university has been open about what is going on with the residence hall no longer opening.
“I’m looking at some apartments, but with this being such late notice on the dorms, there aren’t many available,” Emily Eigenmann, sophomore entertainment major said. “I don’t really want to live in any other dorm.”
Students who were expecting to move into the dorm in the fall are now having to find new housing arrangements.
“I’m waiting until the middle of June to decide if I’m going to be staying home or if I’m going back to the dorms,” Danielle Bailey, junior nursing major, said.
Bailey plans on attending online or community college classes if she decides to stay home.
In an email sent to students, it stated the university plans to postpone new housing assignments until June 30 and students will stay in the same order to receive their housing assignments.
“They emailed us saying the new dorm was not going to be finished and that there will be changes to our housing applications,” Bailey said. “I was also told that one of the dorms is being closed in case anyone had to go into quarantine.”
Those that were planning on living in the Holland House are now having problems finding alternative living arrangements.
“Personally, it’s a big issue,” Eigenmann said. “One moment I don’t have to worry about where I’m living, and now I’m freaking out and nervous on where I’m going to live this coming fall. I feel like this is being poorly managed, and it isn’t fair to us.”
Eigenmann said they are particularly frustrated because they feel they don’t know what’s going on and they aren’t being kept up to date on the situation.
“I feel like the school should be handling this better,” Eigenmann said. “All we’ve gotten is an email saying the dorm is closed, and another hall might be too. They have yet to give us any more information. That’s very disappointing.”
As far as how the university will handle housing for next year, in regards to COVID-19 health guidelines, they are still working on how dorms will work next year.
“Housing will not be the only aspect of the residential campus that will drastically change,” Stewart said. “And it is a moving target. What we plan now may have to be altered or in the worst case, canceled.”
Stewart said he feels social distancing will be no different in the campus housing than what is recommended anywhere else on campus.
“I would say we are doing everything we can to follow CDC cleaning guidelines and best practices of the housing professional organizations across the United State,” Stewart said.
Students can see more information on what the new residence hall is set to look like and more information about it with this link: https://reslife.missouristate.edu/the-new-residence-hall.htm