Last December, The Student reported on the impact of repeated instances of dorm damage on custodial staff and the facilities department. After the article was published, we obtained additional information on the total monetary cost of these damages.
Over the course of the Fall 2022 semester, where the first reported damage was on Aug. 18, 2022, and the last on Dec. 7, 2022, damage costs that exceeded the already-allocated repair budget totaled $21,273 for dorms across the entire campus.
This number is likely an underestimate, according to the Facilities Service Center (FSC), where dorm damage and messes get reported and then lined up for repairs. The center said they often view cost documentation as an afterthought to their priority to fix and clean the damage, so some costs never get written down. In addition, not all excess costs get reported in the first place — many times, staff clean and fix damage without reporting it, the center noted.
Most of the costs for the supplies and time needed to fix dorm damage — such as cleaning supplies, drywall, or paint — come from the facilities budget, and the center does not record them. However, when an instance of dorm damage is severe enough that the FSC budget cannot cover it or it requires overtime work for a custodian, the center tracks the additional cost in a running spreadsheet, which The Student used to calculate the various totals here.
The dorm that accrued the most damage cost over the Fall 2022 semester was Plimpton Dormitory, where the FSC recorded four total instances of damage that required extra cost. That cost totaled $5,834, the bulk of which was due to the Nov. 12 incident, where repairs cost $5,600.
Hitchcock and Morris Pratt Dormitories amassed the next highest cost amounts during Fall 2022, through a number of instances occurring over the semester.
In Hitchcock, there were 14 recorded instances of damage that required extra costs to fix. These costs totaled $3,050.
In Morris Pratt, there were 28 recorded instances of damage requiring extra costs to fix, totaling $3,037.