Tuesday January 29, 2013

Proactive Measures

The University of Dayton is reinforcing floors in student houses and will readjust occupancy numbers.

The University of Dayton is reinforcing the floors of University-owned houses in the student neighborhoods surrounding campus as a precautionary measure.

Occupancy limits issued to student residents are temporary while contractors complete this work over the next two months. The numbers, which will vary according to structure, will be readjusted to reflect "practical and safe limits," according to Daniel J. Curran, president.

Curran met with the Student Government Association on Sunday, Jan. 28, to inform student leaders that the University would take steps to enhance safety without compromising the character of the student neighborhoods. Occupancy limits likely will be adjusted upward when the work is completed.

"We're pleased that our voices have been heard," said Emily Kaylor, president of the Student Government Association. "We understand that student safety is a priority, and actions needed to be taken. Preserving the community experience is so important to students. I think students will welcome the steps the University is taking."

The University announced occupancy limits after relocating 11 students in two houses to alternative housing on Jan. 19 when residents reported living room floors were sinking. In each case, the students were hosting large gatherings in their residences. No one was injured.

"Unlike other universities across the nation, the University of Dayton maintains unique student housing choices that foster a strong sense of community," said Bill Fischer, vice president for student development. "Enhancing the safety of these houses while maintaining their character requires a proactive, stepped-up approach."

The floor reinforcements are slated for 301 University-owned houses.

"These houses symbolize the University's strong identity as a welcoming community and are beloved by students and alumni," Curran said. "We are committed to preserving that unique sense of community that defines this campus."

The University of Dayton typically invests $2 million annually in routine renovations and upgrades to student houses. Last summer, the University constructed four new houses on Lowes Street that are certified as green buildings under the National Association of Homebuilders' national green building standard.