New College of Florida
Pei Dorms 740x555 64e8a971c1ef0

Air quality problems prompt Sarasota, Florida, college to close some residence halls and house students in hotel

Aug. 25, 2023
While the I.M. Pei student housing at New College of Florida is closed, students will be housed in a hotel in downtown Sarasota.

New College of Florida in Sarasota has closed some housing because of air quality problems, and some students will be housed for the fall semester in a four-star hotel four miles from campus.  

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that the college will close its I.M. Pei Residence Halls "out of an abundance of caution" and instead send upperclassmen to the Hyatt Regency in downtown Sarasota.

"Out of an abundance of caution, and for the health and safety of the NCF community, Interim President Corcoran has made the decision to shutter all of the Pei dorms," the college said in a news release. "This decision was made after the recent engineering report indicated air quality concerns."

A Herald-Tribune report in July showed that New College was reassigning upperclassmen to I.M. Pei housing despite a report deeming the building virtually uninhabitable because of systemic mold problems. New College assigned incoming freshmen and student-athletes to the newer, renovated Goldstein and Dort apartment-style residence halls— which historically housed upperclassmen — while moving others to off-campus hotels.

At the Board of Trustees meeting Aug. 10, the board of trustees approved a $1.6 million contract with Home2Suites and Hilton Garden Inn less than a mile north of campus. The contract, however, did not include an agreement with the Hyatt Regency.

It also wasn't immediately clear how the college planned to transport students from the Hyatt Regency, given that it is farther from campus than the other hotels. Under the contract with Home2Suites, shuttles would be provided for students.

While living in the hotels, students face several restrictions. Students are not allowed to hang, stick or pin posters or other decorations on walls, and are not allowed to bring personal microwaves, toaster ovens, coffee pots or hotpots, according to the college's contract with Home2Suites. Room service and room deliveries, such as DoorDash and Grubhub, are also prohibited.

Students also cannot have alcohol on the property and cannot host parties. Each resident is permitted one guest per room, according to the contract. 

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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