The Domes, a UC Davis cooperative housing community, will not be housing students during Fall quarter.
The Domes were officially closed by Student Housing on Aug. 1, due to a failure to meet UC Davis safety regulations. The Domes, which are located in an area known as Baggins End, consist of 14 domes-shaped homes, which previously housed 28 students.
While Student Housing is not offering student leases for this Fall, student housing and Solar Community Housing Association (SCHA), a non-profit housing organization, are currently in negotiations for a ground lease, which would allow SCHA to rent the Domes for five years.
“There would be requirements under the ground lease that it (SCHA) would have to comply with laws and university regulations. However, SCHA would be the main interface with the students. If you’re a student, your landlord would be SCHA,” said Mary Hayakawa, executive director of UC Davis real estate services.
Negotiations between SCHA and student housing are going well, according to Hayakawa.
“We’re in the middle of the negotiations. They [the SCHA] would take over the Domes and do some repairs, and the hope is that they would be ready to be leased out to students for Winter quarter. That’s the hope right now, but we’ll have to see how everything plays out,” Hayakawa said.
Veronica Pardo, a graduate student at UC Davis and former resident of the Domes, said that from her point of view, the negotiations were going well.
Pardo said that she hoped SCHA would help move the Domes toward future ideas.
“This third party nonprofit, SCHA, would serve as the landlord to the Domes and work in this transition toward Domes 2.0,” Pardo said.
While students are not allowed to live in the Domes, there is currently a Memorandum of Understanding between the university and the registered student group Friends of Baggins End. This Memorandum of Understanding is an agreement that allows students to continue to make use of the land while the Domes are uninhabited.
“Part of that understanding is that they can use the common space, use the gardens and use it for community meetings,” said Ramona Hernandez, student housing associate director.
Student volunteers will be on site to feed the chickens, garden and care for the site.
In general, the outlook for the future of the Domes and the SCHA is optimistic.
“Negotiations are going very well and we hope to bring those to conclusion within the next few weeks. They’re going well, nothing’s ever 100 percent until it’s signed, but it’s going well,” Hayakawa said.
HANNAH STRUMWASSER can be reached at email@example.com.