Ponderosa residence conditions show no sign of improvement

The Ponderosa Commons residence complex has been experiencing a series of maintenance and service issues.

Aside from minor reoccurring cases of broken elevators and electronic doors, recent problems reported by residents also include occasional floods, leaks and electrical fires.

“It starts from the ground up because there’s always been whisperings that the original construction of the place was very rushed and shabby in general,” said Jake Mullan, the president of Ponderosa. “There’s never a quiet day in Pond, is how I put it. There’s always something broken or something being fixed or something happening to the point where you just need to laugh.”

Many students, however, have spoken out about the quality of the service from UBC’s Student Housing and Hospitality Services (SHHS) that is expected to come with the $816-$1071 monthly rent that Ponderosa residents pay to live in a new building on campus.

According to Mullan, these complaints ultimately lead to students criticizing SHHS for tending to linger on maintenance issues rather than acting immediately.

“There’s a sign in the lobby on the elevator door that says something like, ‘The part’s been ordered; don’t worry, we’re fixing it,’ but that sign’s been there for a month now,” said Mullan. “There’s never much communication [from SHHS] about certain issues like that.”

As student complaints seem to go unnoticed or are deferred until a later date, it seems that these obstacles to the residents’ routines are becoming more commonplace and expected.

“Random things like that probably shouldn’t happen in a brand new building. I think it’s the accumulation of all these issues that really bother me,” said Mullan. “There’s a greater issue at hand than a broken elevator.”

Mullan also expressed concern that many of the maintenance problems that arise from faults in the buildings’ initial designs, such as basic electric wiring and pipe systems, may risk becoming greater dangers, especially if not given the proper attention or care from Student Housing.

Andrew Parr, Managing Director of SHHS, could not be reached for comment by press time.