Stevenson's Apartments (pictured) and Kresge's J/K Apartments (not pictured) will be undergoing renovations  this coming 2013–14 school year. Photo by Sal Ingram
Stevenson’s Apartments (pictured) and Kresge’s J/K Apartments (not pictured) will be undergoing renovations
this coming 2013–14 school year. Photo by Sal Ingram

Two housing communities on campus, the Stevenson Infill Apartments and Kresge apartment buildings J and K, will likely be closing for repair in June and may remain closed until September 2014.

News of the closure came only a few weeks ago, said Cowell and Stevenson housing coordinator Jed Milroy.

“It was really unexpected,” Milroy said. “It came as a big surprise.”

While the repair project is still pending approval from the UC Board of Regents, Milroy said he will take the closure as a given as he begins assigning housing for the upcoming academic year.

In an email to City on a Hill Press, UC Santa Cruz director of capital planning Steve Houser said comprehensive repairs are needed to correct the problem of water seeping in from the exterior walls.

“We did not anticipate having to perform repairs at Stevenson Infill and Kresge J/K so soon,” said Houser of the housing projects on campus, which were completed in 2004. “It is disappointing to be experiencing these issues so soon after completion.”

Comprehensive maintenance and repairs of campus housing and dining halls typically occur every 10–15 years, Houser said.

The projected repairs mean that 317 bed spaces will no longer be available for the 2013–14 academic year. Options to help accommodate the students who may hope to live in Kresge J/K and Stevenson Infill Apartments are being discussed.

During a meeting with Cowell and Stevenson students on March 12, Milroy said college affiliation will be a factor.

“If you are Cowell or Stevenson affiliated, you have priority … to live in the Cowell apartments [next year],” Milroy said. “That also means that if you wanted to move in [to Cowell apartments] with your buddy from College Eight, unfortunately, it’s probably not going to be this time.”

As with the Cowell apartments, priority to live in the Redwood Grove apartments near Kresge college will go to Kresge affiliates.

While the priority status for Kresge and Cowell/Stevenson affiliates only applies during the online pre-selection process, the decreased amount of bed spaces — and therein, increased demand — will likely elicit much less college-affiliation diversity within the Redwood Grove and Cowell apartments next year.

While some of the doubles in the apartments will likely be modified to small triples, Milroy said, he hopes there will still be a significant amount of single rooms available.

“The units themselves are perfectly fine,” Milroy said.

“But an issue [of continual water damage] like this is just not something you want to wait on.”

UCSC has a syndicated housing system, which means the cost of construction projects in one area is continually borne by the student housing revenue generated across the entire campus. The upfront cost of the repairs, Houser said, are likely to be externally financed. The buildings were originally constructed at the same time as the Cowell and Porter apartments, costing roughly $64 million in total.

“We are still trying to finalize the repair scope,” Houser said. “As a result, we do not yet have a confirmed project cost.”