Minor problems in the new townhouses

Construction has clearly become a major issue here on St. John’s Queens campus. Whether people are complaining about the mess or looking forward to the new look of campus, students and faculty alike are anxiously awaiting the end of construction.

One of the first projects to be completed was the townhouses. The new dormitories would bring a totally new kind of residence housing to the campus. Students were excited to hear about the apartment style townhouses, which had their own kitchens and a less stringent guest policy.

With this in mind, the new townhouse residents were greatly anticipating the upcoming year and their new living arrangements.

Unfortunately, when move-in day finally arrived, many students found their townhouse apartments less than ready to be moved into. The floors were coated with a layer of dust left over from the final days of construction, and the hallways had an unpolished look, with exposed pipes and rough concrete floors and stairs. Some windows were screwed shut, while others were stuck open when students arrived.

It all seemed to hint that the townhouses were not entirely finished when the deadline came and furniture had to be moved in for the upcoming year.

For many students, the first thing they saw to welcome them into their new apartments was a puddle of water flooding from the leaking air conditioning units. This was not an isolated problem, either.

There were a number of incidents reported by students living all across the line of buildings. The leaking air conditioners became a recurring problem as townhouse residents were forced to call maintenance up to five times before the flooding stopped.

In addition, the washers and dryers were not up and running for the first few days. Thankfully, laundry is not a huge issue for the first weekend, but if the washers and dryers are not functioning for a few more days or weeks, then it could develop into one.

Then, when the laundry room is working, students still might have trouble getting their clothing washed. Each townhouse building, which houses up to 63 students, has only two washers and dryers. That cannot possibly be enough for so many people to depend on.

If even one tenth of the residents decide to clean their clothes at the same time, there would be a laundry backup. If even one of those appliances breaks down, the problem will escalate exponentially.

Yet another complaint voiced by townhouse residents is that they were assured that all the rooms would be the same size.

Again, the reality did not match up with what students were expecting. Some rooms had ample space, while others were small enough that the beds were bunked on top of each other before students arrived.

All of the problems with the townhouses, both big and small, point to one simple fact. For better or for worse, the townhouses were not one hundred percent ready for students to begin living in them. The rest of this year will tell what larger impact that might have.