Due to COVID-19, C-store, fitness center, offices are still under construction
With factories being shut down due to COVID-19, construction of the Lakeside Neighborhood has been slowed and is expected to be completed by the end of the spring semester.
Lakeside is the newest residential addition to campus; however, the construction project is only half-finished. As of mid-February, all amenities are still under construction, but many are nearing completion. Recently, new furniture has been installed in office spaces for the Center for Inclusion and Campus Involvement (CICI) and the Office of Residential Life and Explorations. Furniture has also been installed in some of the common area study rooms.
Since much of the space in Lakeside is interconnected, Rollins is required to get a certification of occupancy. Therefore, for student safety and access control, the common spaces can only be opened once they are all completed. Fortunately, the administration was able to open all residential spaces at the beginning of the spring semester.
“Products and supplies that were being delivered from overseas took longer than expected; at this point, there are no longer any challenges expected to impact construction,” said Leon Hayner, dean of students.
Hayner predicts that construction will be completed by the end of the spring semester. The unfinished areas include the Residential Life and Explorations office, the CICI office, the pool, the courtyard, the fitness center, the C-store, and the lounges in the main building.
“Those are all things that by sometime this spring we should wrap…up, and they should be completed before the end of the semester,” said Hayner.
While students have been living in the residency spaces since the beginning of the fall semester, the neighborhood has been opening its other sections in phases.
The beginning of the spring semester saw the complete opening of the remaining residential halls. It also saw challenges, including issues with washers and dryers, issues with plumbing, and complaints of construction noise.
“Any new major construction project comes with its own set of challenges and issues,” said Hayner. “Anything that was an issue was quickly addressed and cleaned up, and if there were flooring issues then the flooring was replaced right away.”
Students have also reported issues with cabinetry.
“A few of the drawers were broken and the door to the laundry room fell out of the hinge, but they fixed both,” said Pierce Glover (‘22), student and Lakeside resident. Despite these technical issues, Glover still enjoys the new residency, stating, “Overall, it’s really nice.”
Both Hayner and Residential Life and Explorations communicate with the facilities team so issues can be assessed and resolved as quickly as possible. Faculty and staff have been working to make sure students know when and if there will be more construction than usual.
“Students wanted us to be more transparent about the work that was happening each week,” said Juan Escobar, director of Residential Life and Explorations. “We shifted our process to send out an email every Monday morning of what students can expect for the week.”