What’s going on with House Two? This might be the most frequently asked question since school started. And the truth is, there does not seem to be an answer.
About a year ago, Cabrini College responded to a serious mold problem in Dixon House (House Two) by evacuating the 66 students – mostly sophomores – who lived there. Unfortunately, in the past year, not much seems to have been done.
“We haven’t made any decisions on what we’re going to do with it yet,” said George Stroud, dean of students
Howard Holden, director of facilities, said that last year the college made a “conscious decision” to not do anything because “we didn’t need additional housing.”
With regards to housing this year, Cabrini College is now at full occupancy. This means that every bed in Cabrini College is being used.
“Now the college exceeded expectations with enrollment, which means we are maxed out with residential housing,” Howard Holden said
The first thing to fix in Dixon House is the ventilation system, which was the “heart of the problem.” It was not adequately ventilated, which on top of a wet year, was the leading problem. On top of that, some walls will have to be removed; it’s also going to need new carpeting, furniture and paint. So far, the Facilities Department is just in the actively planning stage with what to do with it next year.
“We’ve had a discussion about what amenities can be added to make it more appealing, possibly adding elements for academic programming,” Holden said.
In response to students’ worries about living in the other houses on campus, Dean Stroud says that “the issue that happened in Dixon was unique to Dixon. The other houses don’t have the same issues.” Holden adds on that all the other residential buildings were checked and they were “nowhere near the construction of Dixon house, which is what led to problems. It doesn’t exist in other residential halls.”
With Dixon House being such a big project to take on, some students have been wondering why Cabrini decided to redo the RAC and turn it into the RAC Grill instead of correcting House Two.
“The RAC is a response to student request for ‘college food.’ It’s a direct response to create a late night venue. One has nothing to do with the other,” Stroud said.
With regards to a reopening date, Holden said that if enrollment and retention increase and remain strong, it has to be open by the middle of August next year.
Sue Kramer and RJ Carroll, director and assistant director or Residence Life respectively, declined to comment.