The Brockton efficiency apartments located along Kit Carson Drive will be demolished at the end of the year. Construcion of suite-style student housing will begin in January 2012. (Marla Marrs)

By Dana Cole

Since the ‘60s, the efficiency apartments located on the 100 and 200 blocks of Brockton along Kit Carson have been home to students over 21 who have 48 credit hours or more or have families.

After Dec. 31 of this year, though, those housing units will cease to exist, and the 38 tenants of the units will be forced to move elsewhere.

Construction on new suite-style student housing, set to begin in January 2012, requires the Brockton apartments to be torn down as the new units will be built in the same location.

Rich Middleton, director of Facilities Services, said although the units need to be demolished to accommodate for new student housing, it is in the best interest of students if they are torn down as they are currently in a state of disrepair.

“They have served their purpose,” Middleton said. “They are not adequate to be renting or leasing to students.”

James Street, executive vice president of Capital Planning and Facilities Management, said the units are at least 50 years old. He also noted although it is not harmful to current residents, asbestos containing materials were used in the construction of the units, and it will need to be contained before the units are torn down.

Middleton said students have been sent a letter informing them they need to be moved out by Dec. 31.  There is a provision in the lease students sign when moving into Brockton that states the university is only required to give tenants a 30-day notice to move out for reasons of construction. He also added the university will help accommodate the displaced students.

Additional Brockton apartments located near the intramural fields and Telford Hall are not scheduled to be demolished. Displaced students with families will have priority choice of any vacancies that become available in those units. Displaced students without families will be moved to traditional university housing, if they so choose, Middleton said.

“We will leave no stone unturned,” Middleton said. “We will do everything in our power to help our students.”

Middleton noted the university has contacts with housing developments in the Richmond community and is more than willing to help displaced students find off-campus housing. He added the university is planning to host an apartment fair for the displaced students.

Hail Alhusayni, 19, risk management major from Altaif, Saudi Arabia, said he currently lives in Brockton and will be forced to move when the units are demolished. Alhusayni said he didn’t get a letter yet telling him he had to move by the end of the year, but his friends told him about it.

He also said he isn’t upset by the news and plans to move off campus.

“If it’s good for them [Eastern], it’s good,” Alhusayni said.

Michelle Ray, 31, clinical lab science major from Richmond, also lives in Brockton and will be displaced. She said she thinks the units need to be demolished based on personal encounters with issues such as plumbing while a resident of Brockton.

“It probably needs [to be] rebuilt, based on what I experienced living there,” Ray said.

The new student housing is set to be complete in fall 2013.