SALISBURY – This is Makaela Marsh’s last semester at Livingstone College. She’s managed to not have a roommate her entire college experience – until now.
As unusual sub-freezing temperatures spread throughout the region, it put strains on heating systems and pipes. Livingstone College’s Honors Residence Hall was not exempt as it experienced frozen and broken water pipes on Wednesday during this artic-like weather phenomenon in one wing of the facility.
The damage has displaced about 115 students who live in Honors Residence Hall. Marsh was one of those students. She is now sharing a room with a classmate at College Park Apartments.
“We’re grateful that she has a place to stay,” said her mother, Marcella Marsh.
Mikaela Marsh agrees with her mother that this is a teaching moment. Life will be this way. Things can be going smoothly then suddenly something can happen and interrupt your comforts – like moving from one dorm to another, like sharing your space.
“It’s nobody’s fault,” said student Tristen Coleman who also had to move. “It shows everybody coming together to make peace.”
Elizabeth Lee, who manages College Park Apartments, is also using this as a teaching tool. “This is what we do as a people, we look out for each other, we make room,” she said to students who waited to hear their room assignments.
Dr. Orlando Lewis, vice president of Student Affairs, said the broken pipes only affected one wing of Honors Hall. The other wing is habitable and those students will not be affected.
Some students are challenged by the inconvenience, however. Lewis said the repairs and subsequent return of students to Honors Hall will be made as soon as possible.
Livingstone will credit the accounts of those students who paid an extra $600 to have their own room at College Park, who will now have a roommate.
“We are trying to do everything possible to accommodate our students,” Lewis said. “We are responding to something that was caused by Mother Nature and we would appreciate the patience from students and parents as we navigate our response.”