College will increase laundry prices this fall

With an influx of new washing machines and dryers over spring break, students can expect an increase in the cost of doing laundry.

Currently, students pay $1.00 per use of each washer or dryer. Beginning at the start of fall semester, students can anticipate paying $1.25 per load. Prices will be raised as the College and Mac-Gray bring in a new generation of water and energy efficient washers and dryers. The price increase will cover the cost of the new machines.

“I guess by then we’ll have tried out the new washers and seen if they’re worth it,” said Brendan Docherty ’04, a College Council representative who spoke to the administration about laundry concerns, along with Mike Henry ’04.

The College and Mac-Gray are about half-way through a five-year contract.

Over spring break, each laundry room will be outfitted with front-loading washing machines and dryers. According to Robin Malloy, manager of real estate and housing at Buildings and Grounds, these new machines will have a larger load capacity and will require less detergent.

The washers will also have improved spin cycles, which will allow clothes to dry more quickly in the dryer. Another advantage is that students will only have to pay an extra $.25 if their clothes are not completely dry after using the dryer, rather than an additional $1.00 for a “top-off cycle.”

“I’m not thrilled with the higher prices, but I understand why they are happening because of the new machines. If the washers can hold as much laundry and pre-dry as they claim, then it might not be so bad,” said Docherty. “If they meet expectations, personally, I predict I’ll average $5 a week on laundry, the same that I spend now.”

Malloy said that these new washers and dryers will be placed in Chadbourne, Sewell, and Parsons in order to alleviate congestion in other laundry rooms and, as Docherty stated, “help honor the idea that co-ops are separate self-sufficient units of housing.”

Malloy also mentioned tentative plans to place vending machines that distribute laundry packets in Baxter, Williams Hall and Mission.

The College does not plan to increase the number of machines within each laundry room. “Mac-Gray allots a specific number of washers and dryers for x-number of students,” said Malloy.

Last month, Docherty and Henry, both members of College Council, met with Malloy to discuss lowering laundry prices, but were told by Malloy that prices would be raised in response to purchase of new machines.

“I am concerned that Ms. Malloy already had the contract for the new machines and price increase signed previous to our meeting,” said Docherty. “I am not sure when someone was going to inform the students about this issue, but it certainly didn’t allow for any student input on the matter.”