Free washers, dryers debut in Clark

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    Freshman political science major Trevor Melvin loads the washer at Clark Hall. Clark is the only dorm with free washer and dryer access.
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    Clark Hall is the first dorm on campus to offer free access to washers and dryers in a host of new renovations made last semester.

    If free laundry goes well in Clark this year, free laundry will be implemented campus-wide by next fall, said Craig Allen, director of Residential Services.

    In April, the Residence Hall Association passed a resolution for free laundry in all residence halls.

    The cost for the free laundry is absorbed by the cost of room rent, saving students about $40 a semester in laundry, Allen said. The university does not expect any problems with non-Clark Hall residents coming and doing laundry, but the laundry company monitors how many loads are done. If the number seems unreasonable, TCU will take a closer look at the system, Allen said.

    “It was too late to implement campus-wide, and it was easiest to pilot the system in Clark because it was already closed, and it helped cut costs from the construction because card readers didn’t have to be wired or installed,” Allen said.

    Eleanor Ford, director of Clark Hall, said there had been no problems with the new laundry system so far. She said there are no punishment rules established for non-residents who come to Clark to do their laundry. If problems arise, they will be dealt with in a case-by-case basis, Ford said.

    The basement, once referred to as “The Pit,” is now open and has turned into a social gathering place. The back now opens into a small courtyard and has natural light from windows.

    Students living in Clark said they are pleased with the new laundry system.

    “The free laundry system is great because I don’t have to save every quarter I come in contact with,” said junior social work major Susan Harz, a Clark Hall resident assistant.

    Residents in other dorms are hopeful that the free laundry system will be implemented next fall.

    “I live in King and wish we had free laundry. It would be amazing to have free laundry campus wide because the cost of laundry adds up quickly,” said junior English major Stephen Elkind.

    In 1913, the original Clark Hall was completed on TCU’s campus. Ninety-four years later, demolition began in order to recreate a new home for students.

    Allen said it took eight months and $14 million to renovate the dorm.

    Ford said improvements such as an ample study space and new TVs equipped with gaming system plug-ins are some of the highlights.

    “About the only thing that is the same is we still call ourselves the Clark Sharks,” Ford said.

    BY THE NUMBERS

    214 Clark Hall residents

    $40 each student saves per semester
    19 washing and drying machines