With a new school year and a new group of freshmen, students have brought up issues regarding the dorm structures. It is unlikely that these problems are arising due to the age of the Orono campus having surpassed 100 years old.
However, this problem isn’t happening solely at the University of Maine, but similarly, across the University of Maine System. On Sept. 10 to 11, the Board of Trustees announced a $1.2 billion investment in repairs to every college in the University of Maine System. These colleges include UMaine’s flagship campus in Orono, its campuses in Augusta, Fort Kent, Presque Isle, Machias, Farmington, Maine Law, and the University of Southern Maine.
As stated in the Board of Trustees meeting, the main objective of the investment is to “utilize multiple funding sources to strategically address deferred maintenance, update critical infrastructure to maintain the University’s R1 status and commitment to excellent learning and living environments.”
This plan is structured to take place over the next five years, and according to the Board of Trustees, “UM’s funding sources include TBD (28%), Fundraising (18%), revenue bonds (15%), HAF Grant (12%) and Earmarks (12%). New construction constitutes 51% of UM’s projects, supporting athletic facilities, research, residence halls and academic spaces. New athletic facilities are exclusively funded by the HAF Grant and associated matching funds.”
Looking more closely, there are specific amounts of money for the dorm buildings. For example, Cumberland Hall, a main freshman dorm, is expected to have $7,887,029 put towards it. This dorm hall has been the source of many complaints in regard to cleanliness and mildew.
Along with renovating dorms across campus, the plan also involves renovating athletic centers. Alfond Stadium, UMaine’s hub for hockey fans, is getting around $6.5 million in regard to renovations and structural improvements. There are also millions of dollars being allocated towards a new field hockey stadium and renovations to the baseball field.
Aside from new construction, there are 18 demolition plans. These plans are expected to be around $19 million. It is noted by the board that “The largest demolition projects include Dickey-Wood and the Law Building at USM; Hannibal Hamlin, Libby and Murray Hall at UMaine; and Normal Hall at UMPI.”