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NY Post
New York Post
22 Apr 2023


NextImg:$27K-per-year  New School dorms plagued by fire, floods and gas leak this month

These college students are getting lessons on how life is unfair.

The 301 Residence Hall at The New School in the Stuy Park neighborhood has seen flames, floods and a gas leak this month — uprooting more than 500 students from their uber-expensive dorm rooms.

“It pisses me off because I’m paying so much money that this should not be happening,” Liora Gold, a freshman, told The Post about the disasters at the 24-story, 153-room dorm at East 17th Street and First Avenue. 

Room and board fees at The New School are among the most expensive in the country, with a single bedroom in the 301 Residence Hall running $27,550 a year.

Gold, 19, and her three roommates were in their two-bedroom, 18th-floor suite on April 2 when they heard what sounded like an explosion coming from above. 

“We just heard a big ‘boom’ and screams,” Gold recalled. 

A small fire in a kitchen one floor up had set off the sprinkler system, sending brown “diarrhea water” trickling into rooms below as far away as the sixth floor, the stairwells and common areas, students said.

The fire was started by a student who left something on a stove unattended.

“It pisses me off because I’m paying so much money that this should not be happening,” Liora Gold, a freshman, told The Post.
Helayne Seidman

While no one was hurt, Gold and 54 other residents had to relocate to other on-campus dorms, returning briefly only to collect their things.

To her surprise and delight, Gold moved back into 301 after only a week — but it was short-lived.

The next day a gas leak forced all of the building’s 540 residents to move out.

“I was definitely very frustrated and very stressed out,” said Gold, whose grades started slipping after all the moving around.

Sewage water flowing down stairwell
A small fire in a kitchen on the 19th floor set off the sprinkler system, sending brown “diarrhea water” trickling down the stairwells.
Ellis Gatewood

She wasn’t the only one struggling.

“It’s affecting my mental health and heightening my OCD,” said freshman Ellis Gatewood.

Gatewood moved into their own room in 301 in October.

After the chaos at 301, Gatewood moved into temporary lodging at an American Musical and Dramatic Academy dorm on West 70th Street, only to have the ceiling cave in.

They ended up at a New School dorm on West 20th Street.

Ellis Gatewood
The relocation from 301 into off-campus dorms affected the mental health of freshman Ellis Gatewood.
J.C. Rice

Student Liora Gold

“We just heard a big ‘boom’ and screams,” Gold recalled of hearing a loud boom in the dorm.
Helayne Seidman

“My life has just been dealing with where I’m going to sleep every night. I just want stability,” Gatewood said.

”Our child should not be expected to live, even temporarily, in unsafe conditions considering the amount we are paying for housing,” Gatewood’s mom, Annie, of Newton, Mass., said.

“The New School was challenged with a really tough problem, not of their own making, and did not meet that challenge.”

Ellis Gatewood sitting on sidewalk with suitcases
“My life has just been dealing with where I’m going to sleep every night,” Ellis Gatewood said.
Ellis Gatewood
301 Residence Hall at The New School
Students were told they could return to 301 this weekend.
Helayne Seidman

New School spokeswoman Amy Malsin maintained that the university did its best, and even provided displaced students with “daily shuttle service to and from campus, free seven-day metro cards, supplemental dining and meal options,” as well as university staff at all off-campus locations.

“We understand how disruptive these incidents have been to our students and moved quickly to ensure they had the support and resources necessary during this time period,” Malsin said.

Students were told they could return to 301 this weekend.