Alumni Quad shower replacement speaks to infrastructure problems

The University of Connecticut Board of Trustees recently approved a total of $700,000 to replace showers in Brock and Eddy Halls—both part of the Alumni Quadrangle residence complex. Though the university is under no obligation to update every older dorm with modern conveniences, maintaining basic living conditions should be a matter of chief priority.

While the university is acting now, the showers in Alumni have been malfunctioning, leaking and causing headaches and sanitary issues for years. In the future, the university must address issues like these with a greater sense of urgency.

Though it may be convenient to delay fixing common issues in residence halls, this mindset fails residents who want nothing more than a dormitory that functions on a basic level. Further, considering the exorbitant cost of living on campus, students are right to expect a dormitory without these sort of issues.

Students told Emma Degrandi, a Daily Campus reporter, the showers often lacked hot water, had cracking floors, broken handles and poor water pressure. While the college dormitory experience is not supposed to be one of luxury, a functioning shower should not be too much to ask for. Residents use these facilities each and every day; the university must consider this as a prominent factor in prioritizing and scheduling future repairs.

Clearly, the university cannot anticipate certain problems that occur. There will always be storms that cause unexpected leaks, electrical outages and other unavoidable problems associated with an aging campus. However, moving forward, the university should seek to evaluate the older dormitories and buildings on campus to address issues like this before they become problematic.

The showers in Brock and Eddy Halls have been leaking for years. Though the university’s maintenance personnel tried a variety of solutions, it was inevitable that, as University Spokesperson Stephanie Reitz told the Daily Campus, these showers would end up being “replaced than being renovated.”

It would take a close cost analysis to determine if an earlier replacement or solution would have cost less than the quoted $700,000. Yet, the university would be doing itself, and the students and taxpayers whose tuition and taxes fund UConn, a favor in addressing these issues when they first arise. Though this situation involved a relatively straightforward replacement of shower facilities, a survey of existing problems would likely bring about proactive solutions to potentially complex infrastructure problems in Storrs.