Laundry in dorms to be free starting fall 2009

Laundry isn’t on the dollar menu anymore.

Starting in fall 2009, washers and dryers will be free to students living on campus, except those living in the Grand Marc or Leibrock Village, an apartment complex east of Sandage Avenue for full-time Brite students.

Craig Allen, director of Residential Services, said free laundry is beneficial because it will save the university money.

“There’s a lot of wiring and equipment that we don’t have to purchase in order to set laundry rooms up,” Allen said.

Allen said the university has to pay for maintenance of the card readers and coin machines in the laundry rooms. Allen said by providing free laundry, the university can take out the middle man to repair card readers or to collect the coins.

Allen said it cost the university $8,000 to enable free laundry in Clark Hall this year, but TCU saved $20,000 to $25,000 in the construction of Clark Hall with the free laundry setup. Implementing free laundry will cost the university $120,000 next year, but an increase of less than 3 percent in room rates will help absorb the cost.

“To go up by so little and include free laundry is a way to add to the value we provide for our students,” Allen said.

Allen said the money saved will be incorporated into bettering the living experience.

“By saving that money we’re able to buy extra ping-pong tables and a couple more flat-screen TVs,” Allen said. “So it has benefit in that it saves us money and that money can be used elsewhere.”

SGA communications liaison executive Traci Clayton said it’s good for the student body to have free laundry services.

“It’s a great new idea to implement because students are already paying enough through tuition,” Clayton said. “We don’t need to nickel and dime people to death.”

Allen said Clark Hall’s test run has been successful.

“When you look to design high-quality residential experience, this is one of the things that helps you get there,” Allen said. “This is what the best universities and the best housing programs are doing, so it makes sense to do it, too.”

Students will no longer have a reason to put off doing their laundry with the free system, Allen said.

“The biggest downside is that students won’t have an excuse not to do their laundry anymore,” Allen said. “When their moms come and ask why they have a pile of dirty clothes, they can’t say they ran out of quarters.”

Resident Assistant Anthony Butorac said despite initial concerns, there have been no problems reported in Clark concerning people from other residence halls coming to Clark to do their laundry.

Laundry will not be provided for those in the Grand Marc or the Leibrock Village because the Grand Marc is privately operated, and the Brite Divinity School operates the Leibrock Village, Allen said.


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