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CSI students move into dorm

Ian Hill, 19, carries his belongings to his new dorm room in Eagle Hall in August 2016 at the College of Southern Idaho campus in Twin Falls. 

TWIN FALLS — The College of Southern Idaho plans to bring a recommendation to its board in March to contract with an architect to design a new residence hall.

Trustees heard an update during their Monday meeting but didn’t take action. There’s no timeline for when construction might begin or how much the project would cost.

CSI is pursuing the new on-campus dorm due to a lack of housing in Twin Falls and what officials say are safety, academic and social benefits for students who live on campus. Plus, they say a contemporary layout with apartment-like suites could help recruit students.

CSI hopes to release a request for qualifications for architectural services within the next week, Vice President of Administration Jeff Harmon told trustees. A recommendation will likely come to the board in March.

Trustee Laird Stone asked about bond ratings. “The bond ratings, they’re looking very favorable,” Harmon said, but added that overall, colleges and universities have seen ratings declining due to drops in student enrollment.

The new dorm will be on CSI’s Twin Falls campus near the existing 240-bed Eagle Hall — currently, the only residence hall. The college also manages the off-campus Northview and Eagle View apartments.

In December, trustees voted unanimously to move forward with the process of issuing bonds. Since then, CSI officials have met with a finance team in Boise to prepare for pursuing revenue bonds to pay for the project.

During their meeting, CSI trustees also:

  • Heard updates about a Taylor Building remodel.

A human resources office upstairs has been completed. The old office is being revamped to accommodate some of the college’s accounting functions, Harmon said.

Student services areas will be remodeled, with completion likely in about three months.

The alumni and multicultural coordinators — plus a veterans service coordinator, a job position the college is working to fill — will also be housed in the Taylor Building.

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“We’ll have a suite for student services, which we’re really excited for,” said Michelle Schutt, vice president of student services.

  • Heard a campus maintenance update.

CSI’s maintenance department receives about 300 work orders each month for “break fixes” such as fixing elevators that aren’t working, replacing lightbulbs and patching holes in walls, physical plant director Spencer Cutler said.

The college has dealt with several power outages recently, which have frustrated information technology employees due to the potential of lost data and many hours restoring systems, Cutler said. Also, the college has lost tens of thousands of dollars in components as a result of the outages, he said.

He said he replayed frustrations to the utility company, which has been responsive and replaced aging components over Christmas break that could have failed soon.

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