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The Saga Continues:

More on the Towers Renovations

By James Hoyle
On August 27, 2015

Out with the old, and in with the new! Students can look forward to new showers, new floors, and best of all, air conditioning units! 
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Certain students that would typically live in North Tower have been temporarily relocated to Sarvay Hall for the fall semester. New students may question this relocation, but the reason is quite simple: Towers, both the North and South, will soon be undergoing intensive renovation. Signs of it will begin to appear across the campus shortly. But where did the money come from for this project, and what exactly is in it for the student body here at Concord University? The Concordian recently sat down to talk with Rick Dillon, Vice President of Administration & Associate Dean of Students, to find some answers to these questions. 

“Basically, what we have set up is that the students are paying for this,” explained Dillon, “We took out about a $16.2-16.3 million loan, and those living in the dorms will pay for these renovations over the course of the next 30 years. There are essentially two ways to pay for something like this: you can pay for it up front or you can hire a company to construct the building for you. Both options have their pros and cons, but in the end, we decided to go with the latter option. They will be getting 85 percent of the rent while the school gets 15 percent. We also had to promise to fill the buildings, but it will wound up being cheaper in the long run.” 

He then continued his explanation with an anecdote from his own life. 

“When I first started working at Salisbury University in Maryland in 1987, I was new and was in absolute awe of their state of the art (at the time) student center.  While that was happening, I met a man in his 50s doing the exact same thing I was. When I asked him what he was doing there he told me that he wanted to see the building that he helped pay for 30 years before. And that was in the 50s! This method of payment for buildings is nothing new. Universities often build things and use auxiliary fees to pay for them. For instance, when my daughter was going to college, she was able to get in on a full ride. But to be sure she had it completely free, I checked to make sure there wasn’t anything extra that had to be paid for. Sure enough, I had to pay $900 in auxiliary fees for renovations they had done, were doing, and were planning to do.” 

With students taking the brunt of the paying of these buildings, one may reasonably wonder what students get for their $16 million. Dillon excitedly laid out in detail what they had in mind. 

“If you could step out of the window of a room in tower and had the ability to fly, you’d see that the entire building is covered in a substance called exterior insulation and finishing system (or EIFS). It was a popular insulation system, but it also has a problem in that it leaks easily. So, the buildings are being recoated with an adobe-like substance that is more resistant to leaks. The single-pane windows in the dorms will come out and double-pane windows, making the rooms less prone to drafts. In addition, the Towers will be re-roofed, the very year the 15-year warranty on expires. Bottom-line, the buildings are going to function as they should.” 

Dillon then went on to describe what was going to happen inside the Towers.

“The carpet, which predates me, is being replaced. P-TAC units will replace the single heating units in the dorms. With the advancements in modern technology, we’ll be able to get both heating and AC in all the rooms for the same amount of money that we’re currently spending for heating alone. There will be new showers and sinks, but the toilets will remain, since they are still relatively new. There will also be new sinks in the foyer between rooms, as well as new tile. There will also be new lights, and the heaters and ventilation systems in the bathrooms will be replaced. In addition, we’re also using $500,000 of that $16 million to upgrade our IT for faster internet. This is not to say that the students currently in Sarvay will have faster internet. This project will begin roughly mid-April, but preparations have already started. We hope to have it all completed by 2017. There will be schedules for those curious, and those should be being typed up as I speak to you. In addition, there are posters in the towers of what the finished product will look like. It is our job to keep students informed and respond to any legitimate complaints. We’re very excited about this. Even if it winds up costing a little more in the outset, we want it to be done right so students will not have to pay more than have to if something breaks.” Anyone with further questions or comments or complaints may reach Rick Dillon by email via 

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