The Pros and Cons of Living In The New North End Complex According To The Residents

As the 2016 Spring Semester at Marist came to a close in May, the old Gartland Commons in the North End area of campus faded into rubble. In late August the first new building of Marist’s new housing complex in the North End called “Building A” has been opened to Marist undergraduates.

According to Marist Housing this new residence area fits a total of 291 students on five floors in either a four-person bedroom apartment, a limited three-person bedroom apartment or a one-person studio. Both the four person and three person apartments feature single bedrooms, a common bedroom, a living room, a kitchenette and functional air conditioning. The first person studio comes with a bathroom and a kitchenette.

Building A comes with a community lounge, study lounges on each floor, a laundry facility, and elevators. The first Marist student residents which are all upperclassmen  in the complex have various thoughts on “Building A” many commenting about the positives and negatives with living in the complex in which many of the students have now collectively nicknamed “New Gartland.”

“The positives of living in New Gartland are so many.” said fourth floor resident and Marist junior Joseph Iradukunda. “It is like living in a hotel, everything in the building is new: the oven, the store and more.”

When asked if there were any possible downsides to living in the new building Iradukunda replied “I cannot think of any negatives about New Gartland. And if he could have a request to put something in he stated “It would be nice to have a gym.”

Many of the students love the hotel atmosphere Building A brings to the campus and love the new furniture and kitchen appliances. However, even though many of the students love Building A, they feel there are some negatives to living in the new residence area and believe that some changes could be made.

“The gym is a very long walk away and palace diner is even further.” said fourth floor resident and Marist junior Jacob Levinson. “I think the apartment looks finished, we had an issue with the central air but it was resolved within the first week.”

When asked if he wanted any changes made to the building Levinson replied that the only things that he would like to have in New Gartland are an actual oven, since some of the food he likes to cook requires baking and maybe a bigger couch, in case he wanted to have a friend sleep over for a visit.

“I like the dorm atmosphere to New Gartland,” said Josh Selkowitz, a third floor resident and a junior at Marist. “There’s always negatives to any housing, with  New Gartland there’s the long distance from the gym and the other upperclassmen, the hard mattresses that I slept on for the first two weeks and the thin blinds.”

Selkowitz’s roommate, a Marist junior, James Lavelle, mentioned how the oven takes about 20 minutes to heat up if the temperature is above 350 degrees. Lavelle just remembered living in the Foy Townhouses last year and the oven would take less time to heat up.

“Living in a space that no one has ever lived in is pretty nice.” third floor resident, and Marist junior,  Muitat Alagbala, said, she does mention how there are a couple of problems with New Gartland, she agreed that the oven takes 20 minutes to heat up to 350 degrees while a normal oven would take at most half that time to heat up to that temperature. When baking, the oven takes 15-20 minutes which might be a problem if you’re in a rush.

Also, she recalls how the paint on the walls is really thin and unlike Gartland Commons if you scratch something or pull a command strip the wrong way the paint will chip. In addition, she feels that the apartment is a little congested when living with four other people and a little rushed when being constructed since the handle for the toilet paper in the bathroom can be easily attached from the wall.

Marist student juniors and first floor residents Ray Greene and Anthony Tucciarone all live on the first floor in New Gartland and seem all in agreement when it comes to the style of their apartment. Green and Tucciarone specifically like the granite countertops, the nice size of the refrigerator the quality of the central air, and the smoothness of the dishwasher.

Greene believe that one of the negatives is that the wall can be thin and can easily have conversation from one room to the other. Tucciarone and Greene both stated that the oven takes about 15-20 minutes to heat up around 350 degrees and that it could be a nuisance when in a rush and the blinds are thin.

“We have gotten great responses to Building A,” said Director of Marist Housing and Residential Life, Sarah English. When asked about any complaints towards the building she said not that many were made. English added that they did have a meeting the past week with the residents to check if anyone had any complaints about their apartments. One flaw they found in one apartment was the direction of the shower nozzle was tilted instead of straight. Although, before its opening English said everything from the water to the appliances were checked.

When given some examples of complaints such as the long period of time it takes to heat up then oven and the thinness of the blinds, English replied how it’s a conventional oven that you use to cook, so the wait should not be horrible and that the blinds will probably change soon to cover more of the sunlight.

When asked if there was anything new that we should expect in the upcoming future she responded that new TVs will be installed into the Building A lounges. When English was asked about the possible rumors of a cafe area in Building B similar to  certain places like the Cabaret or the Marketplace she said “Building B will be pretty much the same to Building A and the cafe area will be made in Building C when it is constructed around next year.”

Of all the positives and negatives of Building A or New Gartland the overall response to the new residence area is good and all residents that were asked about the new building definitely seem to enjoy living there.

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