The Thompson Home, a renovated elderly woman’s home that became the Wayne State School of Social Work in 1980, was meant to be fully converted into a dorm reserved for upperclassmen students from the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts as part of the “Arts on Cass” project.
According to the Housing Office, the Thompson Home boasts a collaboratorium, gallery, video and audio editing equipment, rehearsal spaces, practice booths, vintage fireplaces and a full sized kitchen on three floors.
However, as of Sept. 16, construction on the Thompson house remains unfinished and the living space remains unavailable to the students who elected to live there.
Associated Director of Student Services for the CFPCA Lezlie Hart said the University, Housing Office, and all involved parties were “working tirelessly” to open the Thompson House as quickly as possible.
“We ran into some snags, but we’re pushing through them,” Hart said. “Construction projects unfortunately don’t always go as planned, but the university has provided comfortable alternatives to students while we work to get Thompson Home complete.”
The majority of the over 60 students that were supposed to live in Thompson Home have been relocated to the St. Regis Hotel while awaiting the completion of the construction.
Hart said WSU was most likely going to charge students for the hotel, but when Thompson House opens the payment will be adjusted.
“I imagine they won’t charge for the month of September because they’ve been charging for the Regis,” Hart said.
Thomas Wolf, a student who was supposed to be a Resident Advisor for the Thompson Home, said he was growing “increasingly frustrated” with his situation.
“The university has been really vague about what the hold-up is and what we’re supposed to be doing,” Wolf said. “We had a meeting last week where the university told us we’d be delayed. They showed us pictures of what a finished room was supposed to look like and they gave us deadlines that they were going to try to be finished by, but no reason as to why we have to keep waiting.”
According to Wolf, the first deadline that the University provided was Sept. 15. When it passed, the deadline was moved to Sept. 22.
“That’s next week,” Wolf said. “I doubt it’ll be done by then, either. Most of the building is still see-through. Right now, I think they’re doing the kitchens.”
A shuttle has been provided for students living at the St. Regis to take them to and from campus, and students who decided not to stay at the hotel were offered free parking passes.
Film major Carla Clark said she and her fellow residents in the St. Regis were more disappointed than frustrated at their situation.
“Things are really cagey, mostly word of mouth,” Clark said. “We get some emails here and there but they don’t tell us much. Most people have just decided to either not live on campus or try to move to other buildings. It’s a hassle and a distraction, for sure.”