In hot water

Graphic+by+Elizabeth+DiSabatino+%E2%80%9816

Graphic by Elizabeth DiSabatino ‘16

Nirupa Basnet

After two months, 512 March fixes water issues

By Nirupa Basnet ‘17 and Hannah Doherty ‘19

Collaborative Writers

512 March St. is one of Lafayette’s most coveted apartment complexes for senior students. The building, housing roughly 30 students every year, has Wi-Fi, dishwashers and laundry machines–amenities that most off-campus housing lack.

But up until this past week, the building’s residents did not have a stable source of hot water.

For these students, who had to undergo cold showers since the beginning of the semester, 512’s water issues were warrant for complaint.

“It’s supposed to be a top tier, which means it’s the best tier you can have,” resident Irvin Cedillo ‘16 said. “We’re paying about $1,000 extra compared to other dorms and since the semester started, every week the hot water goes away.”

“It is very frustrating because 512 is the most expensive housing option at the school,” Samantha Praman-Linton ‘16 said.

“I never had any issues with hot water when I was living in the dorms,” Praman-Linton added.

“The most inconvenient part has been having to take showers,” Gregory Ly ‘16 said. “There have been nights when I would just want to bathe and I would literally go in and take a five-minute shower in the cold just because I had to.”

According to Director of Lafayette College Residence Life Grace Reynolds, 512 March St is not managed by the college. Rather, “the facilities, work orders and those kind of things are managed by and responded to by an outside company.”

This company, according to Reynolds, is Radnor property group. “[The group] has their own staff they work with who come and respond to facilities issues. So work order requests go to them, not our facilities department,” Reynolds said.

According to students, both Radnor property group and residence life has been responsive to their complaints.

“The first time we called, the technician came to our apartment specifically,” Cedillo said. Initially, the technician thought it was just the apartment, but realized after inspection that the issue was with the entire building.

“He went to the actual system of the whole building, and apparently fixed something so the hot water was back on,” Cedillo said. “[But] the next week it was gone again.”

The office of residence life offered to relocate some students if they requested to be moved from 512 over the past couple of weeks.

“The students have access to other places on campus in order to obtain hot water for shower or things like that,” Reynolds said. “Or if students wanted to relocate to some other place…[we would relocate them] in the same way that we would offer to relocate anywhere with housing if there was a facility issues.”

The technician first monitored the system on Oct. 5, and despite the repairs and several visits, the problem has been sporadically reoccurring ever since, according to emails sent by Human Resource Manager of Radnor Property Group Elisabeth Yeager.

Yeager has been in contact with the students via email about the issue since Oct. 3.

Yeager went to the building with a serviceman to troubleshoot the hot water system in early October, according to an email she sent to residents of 512.  

“He found two valves that were not functioning 100 percent which explains why there is sometimes hot water and sometimes not,” Yeager wrote. The problem came back again in late October and was fixed. As of deadline, there have not been further problems.