University completes more than $3M in housing renovations



TUSKEGEE, Ala. (September 14, 2011) — Tuskegee University has renovated two housing complexes following a devastating fire that destroyed the Commons C student apartment complex. After lightning struck the roof, 72 beds were lost in the July 14 blaze at the nearly vacant complex. Fortunately, there were no injuries. Only three students were displaced, but the university was left to find a rapid solution to accommodate the incoming students for the fall semester.

“With more than 3,150 students expected this semester compared to an average of 2,800 students in recent preceding years, it was necessary to have as many residence halls and apartments available as soon as possible,” said Cynthia Sellers, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management.  “I appreciate President Rochon’s support in moving the renovation project forward and everyone’s hard work.”

On July 26, renovations began on the Marable Apartments and Roberts Circle houses. The renovations cost $3,638,456.05 for both projects. Work at the Marable complex was completed on Aug. 21 and Roberts Circle is expected to be finished by the end of the month.

The Marable Apartments have 48 two-bedroom units and Roberts Circle has 17 two- and three-bedroom units for housing. According to Tory Ward of Sodexo, the interior and exterior renovation of the apartments included a complete gutting, roof replacement, asbestos abatement, lead paint testing and the installation of heating and air conditioning units. Additional security features were also added to both apartment complexes. Both complexes will now be gated communities with security card access and safety cameras.

The winning bidders for both projects were local minority contractors from Tuskegee. Specifically, the contractor for the Roberts Circle houses was DADs Inc. and the contractors for the Marable Apartments were A.G. Dreco and Contex.

Improvements were also made to several other dormitories over the summer, including Tantum, Olivia Davidson, Douglass, Adams and Emery halls and all the Commons complexes. The university spent $925,000 for various repairs, exterior cleaning and painting projects. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning units were also replaced.

The Chambliss Business House was also renovated to accommodate students’ dining needs. This project was in response to the closing of Tompkins Hall due to roof damage.

A convenience store and new laundry facility were also opened in the back of campus. The convenience store section of the facility will be open Monday-Thursday from 7 a.m. to midnight and from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekends. The laundry section, which is equipped with new high efficiency washers and dryers, will be open 24 hours daily. The new facility also features a student study lounge, open 24 hours daily. Students can gain access to these sections of the building by using their new student identification cards.

Marable Apartments.

Roberts Circle.

Chambliss Business House currently serves as the student cafeteria.

A student shops in the new convenience store.

A variety of food.

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