Study Rooms

initially published November 15, 2005
last updated - 28 Jan 2007

2.1 Overview
Based on BOCA code (see occupancy chart XXXX) rooms are classified as “study” and APX as a Fraternity is code evaluated as “Hotel Motel.” The Dormitory is required to maintain this classification and for CO-ED occupancy this possess a problem . The rooms “upgrade” have been considered as an annual student decoration project. Until 2003 four students were allowed to keep their personal possessions in their rooms over the summer. Over the years these rooms have deteriorated. In 2003 the Alumni Association required students to remove their possessions and began survey for damage deposit deductions and general physical conditions. The following was observed:

Vintage of surfaces and mechanical; lack of repair, and numerous repairs by students and parents have rendered substandard conditions such as: ungrounded, illegally mounted, residential grade ceiling fans, mirads of holes at walls (plaster) and improper repair of plaster with plywood or paneling and illegal lighting, electrical and plumbing. 2x8 base boards, exposed romax electrical wiring (A contractual policy was imposed preventing electric work by students). In addition room are not cleaned at turnover

In general study rooms were designed as double and triple study room occupancy with 2 or 3 closets. Rooms sized as “study room” occupancy meet criteria for U of I standard for approved 37 persons. Because of the vintage construction the closet size have been “Grandfather” and the sub-standard U of I closets square footage and lineal foot of closet rods/ hanger space remains deficient.

Students use the rooms as “individual” occupancy spaces rendering the approximately 17 rooms as “bedrooms” (not study) and the dorm used as a rec. room/ pool room. (This BOCA code category is a “rooming house” R13). Room 17 is excessively large at over 210 sq. ft. and the adjacent room 12 is excessively small at 138 sq. ft. however only 89 sq. ft. at legal ceiling height.

Rooms 0 & 12 are the rooms regularly vacant due to deficiencies, then room 9 and 10 due to heat control and small room size. The heat distribution flaws is correctible by design and mechanical upgrades. Room 13 has been modified into an office. (If sprinkler is installed it could be converted back to a study room).

An upgrade program must be undertaken for the individual rooms and should include a fan for each room as well. Also a clear policy needs to be determine stating room conditions before turn over and occupancy limits and goals. It will require solid management to maintain room surveys and damage deposits.

Surface walls, doors, windows, ceiling, trim of rooms and closets, generally do not meet minimum property standards. Cracks, holes, improper repairs (jeopardizing fire protection - plaster removed and replaced with wood). Open holes, cracks, and plaster key failure. Sub standard repairs; heavy occupancy wear and tear; illegal electric wire, hall doors which do not self close and broken styles if repaired must then be regulated.

The closets have received some repair attention but no enough. Patching the severely damaged 3/8” thick plaster may last but all closets must be attend to.

Ceiling fans regularly get installed by users and are often too low, and restrict ceiling height clearances are improperly installed, are not grounded improperly and box anchored at fan box.

Space Remodeling and Upgrade Recommendations

1. Desirable room upgrade and occupancy increased option

+ Room 12 is regular vacant
+ Room 13 has been used as office and could be reoccupied if sprinkler is reinstalled
+ REC/ dorm upgrade to bedrooms
+ Upgrade dorm and first floor TV could be converted to sleeping rooms
+ Room 17 is too large for double occupancy

2. Upgrade closets

+ Surfaces at walls and ceiling and base and trim.
+ New storage system and design approved to maximize need.
+ Desirable electrical/lighting should be determined and then add or replace with code approved fixtures.

2.1.1 Room Occupancy Survey
View Survey

2.1.2 Occupancy Chart
View Survey

2.2 Existing Conditions
+ Illegal electrical/lighting and ceiling fans have caused smoke and electrical damage.
+ Plaster damage or replace wood-paneling in lieu of Fire rated plaster or drywall
+ Hall door damage to door and hardware “grandfather/C” label/ door closure is poor. Fire code required
+ Substandard closet conditions of surfaces and storage
+ Scratched wood floors, floor damage - new seal
+ Window hardware broken or missing / weather strip add storms
+ Substandard or missing window screens, window blind
+ Missing or sub-stand base boards
+ Closet upgrade and storage systems required/ plaster failure
+ Clean heat registers of dust and debris to improve convection
+ Master key system has been modified and cylinders/latchsets replaced.

Many Fraternities and Sororities have seen that with amount of electronics and possessions that current needs suggested space remodeling and reduction of occupancy. The apartment housing glut has drawn students into their market with high quality amenities and escalated prices. Fraternities are competing in this Housing Market.

Some space remodel includes air conditioned ‘suites’ living room and unit bathrooms or wall removals adjoining 2 small room of double occupancy for a single larger space of double or triple occupancy with larger closets.

The U of I reduced the housing occupancy standard that only Freshman are required to live in the “U of I approved Housing.” Sophomores were able to live in apartments starting in the mid 1980’s. This seriously affects Fraternity occupancy.

The Annex is 3200 GSF +- with an occupancy of 8 for 12 months. The chapter house has 10,800 GSF +- with an occupancy of 10-15 for 9 months.

In general APX has flexible housing for Chapter use. Possibilities:

+ Use both Chapter House and Annex as Fraternity occupancy. 17+8 rooms =25 spaces
+ Annex as an 8 bedroom house
+ Annex as 5 bedroom house plus 3 bedroom modern apartment


+ Upgrade rooms after long range program needs are determined (before mechanical work)
+ Survey rooms annually
+ Expand all income producing latent spaces and correct deficiencies