Miina McCown/The Broadside
While Wickiup Hall at Central Oregon Community College has been closed for some time due to the ongoing pandemic and will continue to remain closed for the rest of the 2020-2021 school year, it has been recently announced that the hall will reopen for the fall term of 2021.
The college will continue to follow county and state health guidelines, as well as providing COVID-19-specific protocols and information to potential residents as this year progresses.
The Broadside got a chance to speak with Andrew Davis, the director of student/campus life. He discussed that the housing was closed in stages, closing at spring break last year for most residents, except for those who met certain conditions such as not having anywhere else to live if they moved out, or they would have to move somewhere with a higher risk or if they were in a program that required on-site classes, such as nursing. The building was then closed completely at the end of the 2020 spring term, housing no residents since then.
“Normally, the process of closing the building takes quite a bit of effort. It’s a week-long process where people move out and then we had to cancel contracts, we had students who were new and planning to move in, so it was just a lot of communication back and forth with students, making sure they knew what was going on and how we were going to work with them,” said Davis.
Student and campus life services hope that with the vaccine becoming more and more available to Oregonians and with continued efforts in properly following COVID-19 guidelines, that reopening in September will be safe.
Davis stated that a vital part of the reopening process is to handle the logistics of applications and billing for housing students and removing some furniture so people can maintain social distancing. He mentioned that personally, his area of work is to handle those processes and to make sure that all of those steps occur and are being handled by someone.
“As far as doing the best we can with the situation we’re in, I think that things have gone pretty well, people have adapted and we’re ready to welcome students back as soon as we’re able to do so safely with state and county guidelines,” said Davis.