The University of Delaware has decided to close both Christiana Towers residence halls on the Laird Campus at the end of the 2018-19 academic year. The residence halls are a landmark on the U.D. Campus with their white facades standing out on the northern edge of the campus.
The Towers were first opened in 1972. Student high rises have since gone out of style as more suburban-style structures take their place and maintenance costs continued to rise.
As part of the housing application process for 2019-20, students who indicated a preference for apartment-style spaces and cannot now be accommodated in remaining on-campus apartments have been notified of the decision.
Residence Life and Housing is working with them to identify other on-campus spaces or off-campus apartment options in the community, with many alternatives that are on UD shuttle lines.
“This was not an easy decision, as we knew it would be an inconvenience,” said José-Luis Riera, interim vice president for student life. “But both buildings are reaching a point where they are beyond their useful life from both a financial and functional perspective, and taking this action now will allow us to better meet the needs of our students going forward, positioning them to be successful in their living and learning environments.”
“Our focus is on student success and that includes managing our facilities efficiently and responsibly to ensure a high-quality student experience,” stated Alan Brangman, outgoing executive vice president and University treasurer. “Closing the Towers is something that had been talked about over the years as part of that strategic master planning process because it had become apparent the buildings were out-of-date and not in keeping with our vision for the future.”
University of Delaware spokesman Peter Kerwin said the timetable for demolishing the high rises has not been determined.
“The university is carefully studying the many variables involved in the demolition of these buildings. Plans will prioritize community safety and will take a couple of years to realize as we work through all the project requirements to address core and related components, including relocation of radio and cell towers,” Kerwin stated in an email.
The Review student newspaper at UD noted that students were concerned with the timing of the decision and where they might live next year. (See headline link to story).