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Logan Hall closing due to high maintenance costs and low occupancy

After a year of deliberation, Logan Hall is being shut down due to increasing maintenance costs and lower occupancy numbers in residence halls across campus.

Cale Fessler, Vice President of Financial Planning and Administration, cites the building’s age as a reason for increased costs, which have been estimated at anywhere from $95,000-$120,000 annually.

“It is the oldest facility – obviously our oldest residence hall – that we do have, so in terms of the structural and maintenance issues that it has, those are the highest that we have got with any of our residence halls,” Fessler said.

Jerry Gentry, Physical Plant Director, says that most of the issues are underground.

“It [Logan] has a lot of drainage issues – floor soil drain issues. A lot of it collapsed over the years and we’ve had to try to root them out,” Gentry said. “It’s to the point now where we’re about to the end of where we’re either going to have to bust out concrete floors, tear out walls, or redo underground plumbing, because it’s gotten that severe.”

The location of Logan has also contributed to the structural issues.

“I think some of it has to do with the way the land lays over there,” Gentry said. “Logan is the furthest to the west; there’s some settling issues on the west side where it goes down the bank.”

In addition to structural issues, Logan is being closed due to lower occupancy numbers across campus.

“We had a lot of empty beds, and Logan is the smallest dorm we have,” Gentry said. “It only has a total capacity of 86 students, and right now I think we’ve got 72 living in there, so it is the smallest by far.”

Nathan Roberts, Director of Residential Life, says the low occupancy will help with relocating current Logan residents.

“By the time we hit move-out, we’ll probably only have 60 or so people in the building that we’ll need to relocate,” Roberts said.

Current Logan residents will be given second priority in room selection, just after residents wanting to remain in their current room.

“I’ve closed some buildings at other universities as well, and I think people generally understand that if you can avoid kicking someone out of their room, you do that,” Roberts said. “So you let your students pick their spaces that they currently have, but then after that, giving them [Logan residents] first priority to move around within the system. Usually they understand that that’s a nice compromise.”

The closing of Logan is the only facility cut that the university is planning to make at this time, according to Gentry.

“We don’t want to get too deep with the cuts because we may need that housing, but if we ever did do anything more, it would be Beshears and Juda and that would only be if we had a plan, probably, for a new dorm,” Gentry said.

There are no definite plans for a new facility, but one is being considered in the long-term as part of a master plan that was developed by Clark Huesemann, an architecture firm from Kansas, and adopted by the Board of Governors. Fessler believes the location of all three of the suites is suitable for a new building.

“I think from a long-term perspective, you know 10-20 years that sort of thing, the location, the very centralized location of Logan Hall and Beshears and Juda are such that we would eventually like to have some new facilities there once the funding kind of works out,” Fessler said.

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