Pine Haven apartments to close

After opening 54 years ago and housing many graduate students and families, Pine Haven apartments will close permanently in January 2015.

According to Scott Blackwell, USM director of residence life, the buildings are still healthy and safe to live in, but the facility as a whole has reached its life expectancy.

“They’ve been in existence since the late ‘50s and there’s just concerns with the general age of the facility,” Blackwell said. “There’s also lower demand for family and graduate apartments with so many off campus apartment choices.”

Pine Haven has been listed on the university’s master plan of facilities to close since August 2007. Ten of the apartment buildings were demolished in 2006 to make way for what is now The Village residence housing.

The nine buildings on the property will remain vacant until the university receives demolition approval from the state college board.

“It usually takes at least two years for approval from [them] to proceed with bidding for demolition of any campus building,” Blackwell said.

Village residents who use Pine Haven’s laundry facility will still be able to do so after January 2015.

“Of the buildings that encompass Pine Haven, that isn’t included in the demolition,” Blackwell said. “We’ll continue to use that laundromat for a number of years; it could potentially be renamed or it could even be expanded.”

Residence Life is no longer accepting applications for Pine Haven. All tenants will be required to vacate their apartments by Dec. 31, 2014.

Any tenants wishing to vacate the complex before the deadline will be released from their housing contract.