Shay Trotter / Lantern reporter
Neilwood Gables will be available next year for 60 residents, despite the plumbing renovations that initially caused the building to be removed from the housing renewal options.
“Obviously in any project like this, you try to be as least disruptive as possible, and so that takes a lot of coordination,” said Student Life spokesman Dave Isaacs. “And so that decision couldn’t be made in time for the renewal forms, unfortunately, but now that those plans have been finalized, it was obvious that there would be those units that we could still use.”
A Feb. 28 email from University Housing announced that a change in the schedule of the $1.25 million renovation project will allow for an accommodation of residents in about 30 apartments, less than the number being used to house the 104 current residents.
“We were able to use these units because it wouldn’t impact or be impacted by the renovations,” Isaacs said.
Maintenance has been ongoing for the last few years in Neilwood Gables, but Isaacs said the bulk of the 89-year-old building’s original piping still remains. The plans to replace the risers, vertical pipes that run the length of the building, and riser valves of the plumbing system for $1.2 million and $50,000, respectively.
Those interested in living in Neilwood Gables in the fall were required to reply to the email by Friday and were put into a random lottery for the available spots.
“Rather than try and sort it out by selection criteria like GPA or something like that, it was easiest to just do a lottery,” Isaacs said. “It’s the fairest for everybody.”
Toni Greenslade-Smith, the associate director of OSU Housing Administration, said in an email that 106 students expressed interest in Neilwood Gables and sent requests to be entered into the lottery.
Holly Weimer, a second-year in health sciences and current resident of the building, said while she understands the housing administration’s decision to allow some students to live there next year, renovations should be a main focus.
“I think that they should renovate it to bring it back to its full potential,” Weimer said. “I think that hopefully if they just change the interior and make it more new and modern it will be in high demand for students in the upcoming years.”
The residence hall has also undergone maintenance in other areas, including electrical upgrades in 1998 and 2002 and a fire alarm replacement, Isaacs said. Minor electrical problems will also be addressed when the building is closed.