College responds to demand for single rooms, shifts plans for Jones Hall

After seeing a demand within the student body for single-room housing, Geneseo decided to offer this option in Jones Residence Hall beginning in fall 2014 rather than completely remodel Jones as originally planned. According to Area Coordinator of Jones Hall Ryan Moton, the rooms in Jones will soon all be single rooms at an expanded price and will house about 75 people. Students will have the opportunity to sign up their single rooms in the spring when they normally sign up for housing.

While living in a single will cost more, the exact price has yet to be determined.

Vice President for Student and Campus Life Robert Bonfiglio explained that this change came about due to a larger admission acceptance rate than predicted.

In 2011, the administration made the decision to close Jones; however, enrollment was stronger than expected and the closure was pushed back.

The current plan for next year is to keep Jones open to offer students something different for living situations. The extra space in Jones allows the college to do this, Bonfiglio said.

Something that makes this decision unique is that this will be the only building on campus that offers single housing for students.

“The need is there. There are a lot of people who want to live in singles, but right now that isn’t an option. Living in a single is not an option unless you have a medical reason,” Moton said. “But we have a desire for students to live in singles, and we think we can keep some students who move off campus just for a single room on campus if we offer single rooms.

“It diversifies our rooming options, which is something that every university wants to do, including us,” he said.

Assistant Vice President for Facilities and Planning George Stooks explained the work that needs to be done in order to accommodate single living in Jones. The only definite decision is that they would need to remove furniture from all the rooms, as there are no current remodeling or construction plans.

According to Stooks, the original plan called for Jones’ demolition and an addition to Milne Library after Blake Hall was demolished, but this plan is currently on hold due to a lack of state funding.

Bonfiglio said that, while Jones was initially set to be demolished, rumors that there are issues with the building are untrue. There is nothing unsafe about the hall, but it is 60 years old, making it the oldest residence hall on campus.

“We know that students want to live in singles. We think that this is something that will be appealing to our students; in particular, it will be appealing to juniors and seniors who might not otherwise be looking to spend a third or fourth year on campus,” Bonfiglio said. “The more options we can provide students the better, and this is another option.”

He explained that the single housing decision is an experiment, and while this is the plan for next year, it isn’t necessarily a permanent option.