The Daily Aztec

University to renovate Maya and Olmeca residence halls

San+Diego+State%27s+Maya+%28pictured%29+and+Olmeca+residence+halls+will+be+renovated+starting+this+summer.+Neither+building+has+undergone+renovations+since+construction+in+1960.
San Diego State's Maya (pictured) and Olmeca residence halls will be renovated starting this summer. Neither building has undergone renovations since construction in 1960.

San Diego State's Maya (pictured) and Olmeca residence halls will be renovated starting this summer. Neither building has undergone renovations since construction in 1960.

Alex Vasquez

Alex Vasquez

San Diego State's Maya (pictured) and Olmeca residence halls will be renovated starting this summer. Neither building has undergone renovations since construction in 1960.

by Shauny Silas, Contributor

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Renovations are set to begin on the Maya and Olmeca residence halls this summer, according to the San Diego State Office of Housing Administration and Residential Administration.

The renovations are planned to be completed in two phases. The Maya residence hall will be closed for renovations during the summer and fall of 2018, and students will first move into Olmeca residence hall. Maya will then reopen and absorb Olmeca’s residents while that building is being renovated during spring 2019.

The renovations are anticipated to improve living conditions for students, said Susan Nguyen, assistant to the director of housing administration.

Mold growth was reported by a student living in Maya beginning in November 2017. Affected rooms have since been cleaned and tested, Housing Director Eric Hansen told The Daily Aztec last month.

The two buildings, which exclusively house freshmen, both consist of three floors. Both residence halls contain various residential learning communities that students can apply for prior to move-in.

“Students should expect to see many upgrades including new paint, flooring, renovated restrooms, community spaces such as study spaces, floor lounges and more,” Nguyen said.

The costs of the renovations will not directly increase student housing payments and will be factored into the overall payment rates for all the residence halls. According to the San Diego State housing website, the projected rates for a dorm room during the 2018-19 school year will range from  $14,005 to $18,493, depending on meal plan and room type.

Nguyen said the overall condition of Maya and Olmeca is what prompted the renovations.

Neither have been renovated since they were first constructed in 1960.

“Maya and Olmeca are the next residence halls on our list to have system upgrades based on the overall housing refresh program,” Nguyen said.

Many students in the Maya and Olmeca residence halls feel that it is past due for the rooms to be updated.

Mechanical engineering freshman Marty Olivar lives on Maya’s third floor.

He said it’s unfair that Maya and Olmeca residents have to pay the same rates as students in other residence halls.

“The amount of money we pay to live in Maya and Olmeca is unfair compared to the benefits that other students get from living in the other halls,” he said..”

One issue that Olivar said he faces is the lack of study spaces offered in the residence hall.

“There is only one common area to study and it’s always crowded and dirty.”

Some students living in Maya and Olmeca said they enjoy the smaller community that the two residence halls provide.

“It’s small but we have the ability to connect with the people we live with, unlike other dorms,” Katelyn Robles, a speech, language and hearing sciences freshman that lives on the third floor of Olmeca said.

“We’re all going through this together,” Olivar said. “The people are one of the few things good that are left about Maya.”

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