After a five-month hiatus, residents have begun to move back into the Domes.
On Dec. 23, a ground lease was signed with UC Davis and the Solar Community Housing Association (SCHA), a non-profit housing association, that enables the Baggins End Domes to have SCHA take responsibility in renovations and maintenance as a third-party manager over a period of five years.
The cooperative housing community was closed in August due to failure to meet the university’s safety regulations. Structural degradation and fire code issues were among those reported. However, after beginning necessary repair work in November, university safety inspectors approved seven of the 14 domes as safe to live in and occupancy permits were issued on Jan. 4. Residents moved in immediately.
“SCHA has been working closely with the university in order to address health and safety regulations,” said Margareta Lelea, a member of the association’s board of directors and former Domes resident. “Passing a series of inspections was required before students could be offered leases.”
According to Lelea, a total of 26 spaces will be available for full-time UC Davis students to live in by July. Currently, nine students have moved in, while five more have been accepted to fill 14 spots.
“Residents have optimism for clear communication with this new administration,” said JayLee Tuil, a Domes resident and doctoral student in geography. “While there has been an incredible amount of work done by a great many individuals, in many ways, with the signing of this lease, our work really has just begun. In the next five years, we need to establish ties with many and varied departments on campus, we need to propose and solidify projects with research potential on site and we need to identify funding sources for these new and innovative projects.”
Mary Hayakawa, executive director of the real estates services at UC Davis, led the contract negotiation efforts between the university and SCHA.
“We are pleased to begin this new partnership that will allow the cherished heritage of the Domes to continue,” Hayakawa said in a press release.
STEPHANIE B. NGUYEN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.