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Samson Place (West in the foreground and East in the back) Credit: Pamela Ellermann

For the first time since their construction 40 years ago, Sansom Place East and Sansom Place West will begin to undergo major renovations this summer.

The changes — which will include carpet removal, tile installation and furniture replacement, among others — will begin at Sansom West June 1 and continue for 10 to 12 weeks. The residential offices will remain open, but the students’ rooms will be closed for the summer.

Sansom East will be renovated next summer because graduate students who live there will have to relocate during the construction, according to Director of Housing Business Service Doug Berger. Next year, those residents who need to stay throughout the summer will be offered alternate housing, most likely in Sansom West — where most residents are undergraduates who are less likely to stay in campus housing over the summer.

The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly has been pushing for a renovation of these two buildings for yearsbut, according to GAPSA Vice Chair of Student Life and music doctoral student Emily Rothschild, the 2008-2009 Student Life Policy Council’s housing report was the catalyst for the construction.

The improvements are a “good start” because they will provide greater comfort to residents, Rothschild said. However, GAPSA is advocating even more renovations for the buildings. This is just an “aesthetic, cosmetic refurbishing,” she said.

Even though the construction needs more funding to make the buildings the “perfect state-of-the-art graduate facilities,” GAPSA will continue long term planning, Rothschild explained.

These were the next buildings on the University’s capital planning agenda and were chosen based on the criteria of impact on students, what funding was available and students’ safety concerns, according to Business Services spokeswoman Barbara Lea-Kruger.

Other renovations will include painting all student rooms, electroplating kitchen units and replacing medicine cabinets and refrigerators where necessary, Berger explained. The lighting in the elevator lobby will be replaced, and the elevator replacement project that was started last summer will be completed.

“I was pretty happy with the apartment in Sansom West this year,” College sophomore Kendra Hypolite said. “We have had problems though — this one light in our living room always flickers, we had problems with our sink, which took a really long time to fix, and it was annoying to only have two elevators that worked.”

Hypolite also heard complaints about the smell that comes through the vents “because they are all interconnected.”

Although Sansom West was not her first choice for housing next year, College freshman Sandra Rubinchik is happy about living there. “The renovations for the summer sound awesome,” she said.

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