Students Find Towers Not in Tip-Top Condition
September 16, 2004 11:47 PM
Chris Buccieri’s two-bedroom apartment in the newly remodeled Towers at Centennial Square looks like many apartments on campus. It’s small, posters hang strategically on the walls, and stacks of PlayStation 2 games piled high on the floor under the television in the living room.
The apartment is furnished with a large dining room table, but the four chairs used to dine are absent. For now Buccieri and his roommates use the table as storage and eat their meals on the couch. Food in their kitchen cupboards is sparse and, according to Buccieri and other students living in the Towers, so is hot water at the end of the day.
The Towers at Centennial Square re-opened on August 22, 2004. It houses 650 first and second-year students under the age of 20. The Towers were closed in May 2000 because of problems with water intrusion and mold.
According to Philippe Cumia, Assistant Director of Housing Marketing & Communication, the whole exterior of the building was redone, along with the interior.
“The building is 90 percent new,” said Cumia.
The foundation of the previous structure was strengthened, all the windows were replaced and new appliances, furniture, and flooring were installed.
Buccieri, a freshman at SF State, likes his new apartment and says it’s nicer than others on campus, but he is concerned about problems he says need fixed.
“The wall behind the shower is warped-looking and the fixture that turns the shower on unscrews in my hand,” he said.
There are other problems in the bathroom too. The caulking that usually runs along the crack where the bathtub meets the shower wall is missing. Instead there is a thin plastic ‘wing’ that is glued to each corner of the bathtub. “I’m not sure what they’re for, but it kind of looks like shady construction,” Buccieri said pointing to the bathtub.
SF State freshman Nicole Lance has similar problems in her room. “There’s a gap where the caulking should go and we have the same ugly plastic things in our bathtub,” she said. Lance moved into the building a week earlier than other students and said she had to deal first hand with last minute construction kinks like not having hot water or electricity.
Alex Davidson works at the front desk of the new STTC and says things have been quiet in that part of the building. “There was construction going on up until three days before the building officially opened, so you’ve got to expect some things are not going to be finished,” said Davidson, a junior.
Cumia said there were minor problems in one apartment concerning the bathtub area but that it had been quickly fixed.
Another student who wanted to remain anonymous is also upset about the condition of the building.
“My roommate and I are pissed about certain problems that aren’t being dealt with,” she said. The SF State sophomore said they are missing screens on their windows, there is no seal or caulking around the bathtub and the elevator is broken. She also complains about the laundry system.
“We were also supposed to use our student ID cards to do laundry instead of quarters, but that doesn’t work either,” she said. She has received notices that say repairs will be done, but said she thinks the school did the bare minimum to get students moved in. She also complained of not having hot water in the mornings and evenings.
Buccieri does have screens on his windows but remembers hearing a loud crash one day while sitting on the couch in his apartment on the fifth floor.
“My windows were open, I was watching television and the next thing I know the screens fell out of the window and landed on the ground outside,” he said. The screens were replaced shortly after.
Jan Andreasen, Executive Director of Housing and Residential Services, said they don't have screens for the first three floors of the building. They have contracted with another company to produce screens but since the windows are custom made, it is taking time to manufacture.
Additionally, she said that they have an on-going problem with one of the elevators in the Towers at Centennial Square (TCS). The contractor continues to order parts to fix it. However, each fix, she said, turns up another problem. Most of the problems are on the minor side and are correctable, according to Andreasen.
Andreasen said there were minor problems with pipes hooked incorrectly causing small backups in certain units. She said it is being corrected immediately. In some cases, said Andreasen, they have asked students to allow workers in their apartments to correct problems, but the students have full use of all the appliances in their unit during the work.
Andreasen feels the issues the building is experiencing are common to newly renovated building openings. SF State continues to keep the original project coordinator on campus to protect the buildings operationally. Andreasen said the project coordinator has been effective in troubleshooting issues as they come up and everyone wants problems corrected as soon as possible.
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