Virginia Tech relocated residents of East Eggleston Hall in efforts to expand isolation space for students who test positive for COVID-19.
Residents moved out of East Eggleston from Sept. 11 to Sept. 13 to other residence halls across campus where they will stay for the remainder of the year.
Virginia Tech began the fall semester with 172 isolation spaces where on-campus students will be able to complete their 14-day quarantine.
With an increase to more than 500 on-campus positive COVID-19 cases, Virginia Tech decided to increase the number of rooms available for isolation space by filling rooms across campus and clearing East Eggleston entirely.
“It was an opportunity to increase a resource that we hopefully don’t have to use, but if we need to use it is available to us,” said Assistant Vice President for University Relations Mark Owczarski.
According to Owczarski, Virginia Tech provides on-campus housing for approximately 9,300 students; however, because of students deferring or remaining virtual for the fall semester, there are only 8,400 students currently living in the on-campus residence halls.
“Residence life brought forth the information that we had a number of vacant rooms throughout campus and that if we consolidated that space this could help us increase the resource and capacity of quarantine and isolation spaces,” Owczarski said.
East Eggleston was chosen as the dorm for isolation space because of its low occupancy. This required the fewest number of students to move into different dorms.
“There are approximately 70 total students being moved, and they will be given a 20% return on their bill to compensate for the inconvenience of moving,” Owczarski said.
Although the move was stressful, freshman business major Katya Acton appreciates the resources provided to make the move as easy as possible.
“We had an excused absence where they emailed all our professors saying that we have a reason not to be in class,” Acton said. “They had these guys that came with the trucks and they pretty much did it for us.”
Freshmen are not the only students in East Eggleston being impacted by the move. Since residents of East Eggleston are now in different dorms throughout campus, there is no longer a need for the resident advisors in East Eggleston.
“I was upset about having to leave because I felt that I had missed out on opportunities as an RA, but now that I’ve moved into my new room, I’m quite happy,” said Kaden Migdal, a sophomore majoring in animal and poultry sciences and an RA in East Eggleston. “I’m still disappointed that I don’t get to be an RA, but there wasn’t anything I could do about that.”
Migdal and other RA’s received news of the move in a meeting Tuesday, Sept. 8, while other residents received an email Wednesday, Sept. 9.
“They emailed us Wednesday morning and said, ‘Hope you had a great weekend. By the way you’re moving to another dorm,’” Acton said.
Although the move was not expected, it is hoped that by creating this additional isolation space, students will be able to remain on campus at Virginia Tech through the remainder of the fall semester.
“Overall it does help us to remain here in Blacksburg for the fall semester because that is our goal. We want to complete the semester here in Blacksburg,” Owczarski said.