Upon beginning this semester, I was ecstatic about living in Sutt on, especially aft er discovering that Rollins had announced that it would create
a new pool and recreation area exclusively for its residents.
However, I arrived to see a sign stating the area would not be completed until Oct. 31. Now that Halloween has passed, I am puzzled to look out and see what appears to be a big sandbox where the new recreation area should be.
Still, another trouble has overshadowed this problem. Sutt on residents are currently experiencing a rodent issue. Mice sightings have been reported on all floors and one can sometimes hear them scattering above the ceilings. It is not exactly the living experience many students expected.
Kayla Austin ’13, a thirdfloor resident, has faced one of the most extreme cases of the semester. “We’ve caught six rodents since September and saw one running down the hallway,” she said.
“Maintenance kept putt ing in traps but that didn’t work. We eventually complained face-to-face and they covered two holes in our kitchen, which seems to have stopped it for now.” Could the construction be a source of the problem?
Scott Bitikofer, director of Facilities Management, doubts this hypothesis. “There are various speculations as to the cause, but we don’t believe at this time it has to do with the construction of the pool,” he said. He assures that Facilities is “committed to eradicating the problem.”
Facilities has taken multiple preventative steps already, such as having a professional, licensed pest control company bait all apartments, common areas, closets, trash chutes, access panels and the perimeter of the building. The trash room and dumpster on the rear of the building have been pressure washed and sanitized, and Facilities has increased the frequency of waste collection to two times per day, six days a week.
The situation is improving weekly, according to Bitikofer. Facilities has joined with Residential Life to conduct inspections of every apartment to ensure that “a community approach is presented and achieved for the benefi t of the residents as they learn to maintain their living quarters in acceptable condition.” Bitikofer said, “A clean and well-maintained apartment will only help eradicate Sutt on Place of this sporadic rodent issue.”
Bitikofer also addressed the mysterious pool situation. “October 31 was listed as a tentative date of opening. State permitt ing held up the overall permitt ing of the pool construction. The City of Winter Park could not grant a permit until they received the State of Florida Health Department permit,” he said.
“In addition, several variances were applied for and granted (i.e. lakeside location and restrooms), but also contributed to the delay. The City of Winter Park was kind enough to allow us to perform demolition and site work prior to receiving overall permit. We received State approval a few weeks ago and immediately submitt ed it to the City and received our permit.
Upon receipt of the permit, the contractor began layout of the pool and is in process of forming the shell.” Knowing student concerns about the pool’s opening, Bitikofer spoke further. “They expect to have the pool built (weather pending) in six weeks. We are planning on opening up the deck area ahead of the pool opening and will fence off the construction site from that area. The expected partial opening will occur at the beginning of December, with the pool opening in January,” he said.
Some residents have other concerns. Many were confused about why their apartments were not renovated. Bitikofer explained that Rollins plans to renovate all Sutt on apartments, but the speed at which this is done depends on multiple factors. “Our intent is to continue the renovations of individual student rooms, [but] our ability to do this is predicated on funding and availability of the rooms. This summer’s conference schedule is quite full and no funding has been identifi ed at this time; having said that, we are still hopeful to continue renovations this summer, albeit on a more modest scale,” he said. While current residents may be “roughing it,” it appears future ones have a positive experience to look forward to. “I’m super excited to go skinnydipping in the new pool,” joked Brandon Curson ’13.