FEC construction on schedule for early July completion

Photo by Danielle Marsh
Construction on two of the FEC dormitory buildings, located on Malaga Street, will be finished by July 10. The use of the third building has not been determined.

Questions remain about security, exterior designs of dormitories

By Jennifer Swift | gargoyle@flagler.edu

Questions remain as the process of transforming two of the three Florida East Coast Buildings into dormitories remains on schedule, with a completion date set for July 10.

Before the dorms open, questions regarding security, the exterior designs surrounding the buildings, and even what the buildings will be continue to linger.

Though the new dorms will offer state-of-the-art security equipment within the buildings, the level of security offered for the seven-minute walk from the new dormitories to the main campus remains up in the air.

“At this point we have not made a final determination as to a shuttle service,” Dean of Student Services Dan Stewart said.

The question of what to name the buildings will not prove to be as difficult because a contractual agreement made at the time the school purchased the property requires Flagler to retain “FEC” in the name. The buildings are currently under the title of the FEC Malaga Towers A, B and C.

Tower A, the southernmost tower, has yet to be renovated. The purpose of the third building is up for debate, though Stewart believes a decision will be made quickly because, “The College abhors an empty space,” he said.

With no real lobby area to speak of, there is still the question as to whether residents will have a common social area. The college hopes to create a gated outdoor courtyard for students, but a final decision will not be made until the administration is given an estimate of the cost.

“President Abare will not approve anything without knowing what the price is,” said Larry Weeks, director of business services.

Despite these lingering issues, Stewart remains confident that all will work out.

“I’m excited about having additional students on campus and also alleviating the overcrowding in Ponce,” he said. The new dormitories are expected to add approximately 178 beds to what some describe as a cramped campus.

Even with the added rooms that the new FEC buildings provide, students were camped outside of the Ringhaver Student Center as early as 3:30 a.m. on Housing Day, equipped with blankets and added layers of clothes to combat the freezing temperature.

According to Student Services, the students should have slept in. “As of 4 p.m., we still have housing contracts available for males and females,” Stewart said on Housing Day.

Sarah Schmaus, a freshman, was surprised to hear this. “I was worried about not getting a housing contract today,” she said. Waking up at 5 a.m. to get on line, Schmaus will remain in Ponce next year, as the college hopes to fill the FEC buildings with upperclassmen.

The new dorms will feature state-of-the-art equipment throughout, while maintaining the integrity of the historic buildings that were built from 1922 to 1924.

While gutting the interior of the buildings, crews saved the original interior light fixtures and doors, along with most of the molding, all of which will be reinstalled before the completion of the dorms.

Frank Riggle, director of constructions for Flagler College, has not found this process to be too challenging. In comparison to other projects he has overseen for the college, “This has been easier,” he said. “It’s a lot of repetition.”

The new dorms will hold 12 rooms on each floor, except in Tower C, where a laundry room containing six washers and six dryers will be located on the first floor. The laundry room will be accessible to both buildings.

Each room will hold two beds, two sinks, two closets and one bathroom. The style of the dorms will be unlike any other on campus, with tiled and carpeted floors throughout, textured walls, and other cosmetic touches.

Flagler junior Ashley Schriefer cannot wait. “I need a change of scenery,” she said.

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