Editorial Board | Echo
Taylor University was founded in 1846, and quite frankly, it seems as if some of the university buildings have not been renovated since that day. Leaks in the ceiling of Rupp, the lack of air conditioning in Wengatz, Olson and English, and the overall condition of buildings on campus is nothing to overlook.
With over 30 structures on campus, it seems unrealistic for every building to be top-of-the-line quality at all times. But that does not excuse letting a building deteriorate to a substandard condition.
Tom Jones, dean of the school of arts, biblical studies and humanities, said over email what he knew regarding the upkeep of buildings on campus.
"I know that President Haines and his staff are committed to projects that enhance the overall appearance of campus, upgrading our historic buildings and adding new ones that support the university's academic vision," Jones said.
While the issue of raising money may be one that impedes on the improvement of buildings, or building new structures all together, the Taylor administration likely has other resources that it can contribute to the upkeep of university buildings.
"Raising money for construction projects such as those included in the university's master plan while keeping tuition as affordable as possible and providing competitive salaries for faculty and staff and paying the cost of utilities is not an easy task in the 21st Century," Jones said.
The lack of application of resources to buildings is a growing concern, specifically among students.
Some concern comes from the poor quality of roofing in certain buildings, other concerns come from the lack of air conditioning in three of the eight residence halls.
An opinion article, titled "Taylor University Needs to Cool It," dives into the issues concerning the absence of air conditioning in three of the eight Taylor dorms. Hope Bolinger, a '19 Taylor grad, covered the story in late August. Senior Jori Hanna, a colleague of Bolinger, conducted a survey regarding student satisfaction within the dorms.
"Of the 61 students surveyed, 57 percent said they preferred to study in their rooms over all other places on campus and 76 percent of the total surveyed said they best studied in an environment between 68 and 76 degrees," Bolinger wrote.
Today, it seems as if air conditioning is something to be expected in residence life. And, as a readily available commodity, air conditioning should be available in all student housing.
"Less than 10 percent of the respondents felt comfortable studying in rooms without air conditioning," Bolinger wrote.
Sophomore Peter Williams is a resident of Wengatz Hall, one of the current university dorms.
"While I believe that a lower quality dorm experience builds community, Taylor needs to stop using this notion as an excuse for not improving dorm conditions," Williams said. "The price I'm paying for the room and board should give me a better living experience ― this is evident in most schools that have similar tuitions."
While the conditions of these university buildings do not hinder the functionality of these structures, the overall state of these buildings could definitely be improved.
Josh Craton, director of Wengatz Hall, weighed in on the subject of dorm renovation.
"In the ideal world, we would have money to renovate halls consistently," Craton said. "I believe all halls are on a rotating schedule based on a sequence of what hall is on deck to be renovated next."
It seems that the subject of building renovation is on the task list of Taylor administration. However, improvements seem like they may be far down the pipeline for several campus facilities.