Caboni: Closing Minton was ‘in the best interest’ of students

President Timothy Caboni talks to the College Heights Herald editorial board to  discuss the upcoming year on Friday, Aug. 24. 

Jeremy Chisenhall

WKU’s announcement that Minton Hall would remain closed for the spring 2019 semester led to outrage from students who were scheduled to move back in starting Friday, but WKU President Timothy Caboni said that keeping the hall closed was the right decision.

During a meeting with the Herald’s editorial board, Caboni said the decision was hard, but that the university put the health and welfare of students first. 

“You can’t just say you’re a student-centered university,” Caboni said. “You have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, and what’s most important is that the decision we made is in the best interest of the health and welfare of our students. It’s not what any of us wanted, but we also did not want to create a second move during the semester.”

Caboni also said that the closure of Minton did not come from a lack of effort from WKU and others. 

“My hope was that all of the students who lived in the hall would be able to return in the spring semester,” Caboni said. “And the institution and our outside vendors have all been working tirelessly toward that end, to the point where we thought that we were on track to be able to do that.”

Bob Skipper, the director of WKU’s media relations, assured that residents who were set to move back in to Minton would pay their Minton Hall rate of $1,245, even if the student had been moved into a more expensive building.  

Skipper said that the cost of the work done in Minton is upwards of $270,000. The Herald previously reported that the total cost of the Minton closure exceeded $600,000

Caboni also confirmed that other residence halls have been inspected and have not shown the same concerns that Minton did. 

“There have not been troubling signs in any of the other places where we’ve done work, and you all know that we did top-to-bottom cleanings in Pearce-Ford Tower, Bemis-Lawrence and Barnes-Campbell,” Caboni said. “…The reality is that in all of those facilities—with the work that we’ve done, with the cleaning we’ve done, with the maintenance work we’ve done, they’re all in good shape.”

Caboni said that conversations about how to credit students for inconveniences were ongoing, but that the university could potentially continue offering free laundry.

Digital managing editor Jeremy Chisenhall can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @JSChisenhall.