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Corvallis Gazette-Times: Group to look at options for OSU’s cooperative housing program

Posted June 24th, 2013 by UHDS News

[Corvallis Gazette-Times, June 24, 2013] –Oregon State University housing and dining officials have announced the closure of the four aging co-op housing units on campus. Now they are evaluating how any future co-op program might look and where it might be located after the houses close in June 2014.

“The cooperative program is not about a particular house,” said Tom Scheuermann, the director of University Housing and Dining Services (UHDS) at OSU.

The four co-op facilities that will close next year are Avery, Azalea, Dixon and Oxford. They are clustered along Southwest Jefferson and Monroe avenues between Southwest 11th and Ninth streets. The oldest of the buildings date to just after World War II and house about 200 students in a communal living environment. For the 2013-14 school year, UHDS lists the room fees for co-ops at about $3,300. For a triple room in several dorms, the cost is about $4,900. Neither cost includes dining fees.

“The facilities are safe,” Sheuermann said. “But we also know that’s not going to continue to be the case indefinitely.”

Scheuermann said the co-op program and facilities need to be analyzed separately.

The co-op program enables each house to hire its own chef, and each house largely is in control of its own management. Maintenance is handled by the university.

“That’s a fine approach, but if someone wants to keep that, that’s probably more likely going to be something that’s off campus,” Scheuermann said.

On-campus living in the future likely would include food services and management through the university, Sheuermann said.

The co-op buildings themselves need full renovations. They’ve had annual maintenance but haven’t been fully renovated in at least the 14 years that Dan Larson has worked for the university as the associate director of UHDS, he said.

Renovations typically cost between $250 to $350 a square foot, depending on the condition of the building.

Scheuermann said they will first look at how the co-op program would look in the future, and then find facilities to accommodate them.

A workgroup will be formed this summer to go over the program. Five to six UHDS staff members are likely to be part of the group, as well as co-op residents and alumni.

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Read the full article by McKinley Smith and see photos at www.gazettetimes.com.


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