In the meantime, many students stayed at the Holiday Inn in Oneonta, with lodging and transportation expenses met by the college, officials said.
To relocate students and their belongings from the Southside Oneonta hotel, the college will run vans between the hotel and campus between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. today, the release said.
The college also is offering other housing options to students who don’t want to return to their Matteson Hall rooms. The college has nearly sorted out issues such as the laundering of affected students’ clothing, the release said, and resuming the delivery of their mail to the residence hall.
“Getting Matteson’s residents back into regular housing doesn’t resolve every question left by the fire,” Legg said. “It’s a giant step, though, in returning things to normal.”
Legg said the college has worked nonstop to restore the habitable floors for occupants.
Final preparations for
students’ permanent return to Matteson were to be completed Thursday, a notice to students on Facebook said. Cleaning crews will continue working on the third floor until Saturday, a process that college officials said would cause minor noise and inconvenience.
The college notified students about progress during the recovery: Matteson’s emergency generator passed inspection, state officials were deciding which furniture was ruined, the hall’s ventilation system was being sanitized, and the Department of State was inspecting the building.
Students are “very excited’’ about returning to Matteson, Perry said, but are likely to need time and support to process what happened. To help encourage them to talk and share their experiences, Matteson will have a social gathering at the hall tonight, he said.
The fire, a traumatic event, happened on the first day of classes, which meant that students in Matteson have yet to establish a routine for this semester, Perry said.