By Matt Riedl, news editor
No, that’s not the sound of your iPod rattling around in the washer: It’s the sound of six quarters going down the chute in one of Newman University’s new laundry machines.
Over the past summer, 10 sets of new washers and dryers were installed in Merlini and Beata halls, bringing with them a price increase.
The new equipment was purchased to replace aging 16-year-old units in the residence halls, Housekeeping Supervisor Scott Stardy said.
“They were outdated,” Stardy said. “We kept repairing them until we decided instead of putting more money into them, we would just replace them.”
Stardy said the project, which cost approximately $13,000, outfitted older residence halls with the same equipment used in Fugate and New halls.
To help absorb the initial investment on the equipment, prices were raised in all four halls: $1.50 to wash, $1 to dry.
With the old equipment in Merlini and Beata, washing and drying a load cost 75 cents each. Stardy said in Merlini, students would frequently be able to work the machine to get a free wash.
Now all on-campus students pay the same amount for fresh clothes, even though nothing has changed in Fugate and New halls.
“I don’t necessarily mind too much that it costs more to wash, but the dryers don’t dry it on the first time,” freshman Emma Mattingly said. “So essentially, you’re paying for two loads.”
Stardy said most students’ complaints about dryers leaving clothes damp result from students packing the dryers too full.
“It seems economical to try and stuff it all in one load but if you fill it up more, it’ll take more money to dry,” Stardy said. “It’s a learning curve.”
The new washers and dryers aremore sturdy, energy-efficient and water-efficient, Stardy said. He said the university is trying to keep its laundry prices reasonable.
“Keeping in line with current prices, it’s still less expensive to do laundry here than at a laundromat,” Stardy said. “We think it’s very generous pricing.”
In comparison, Lost Sock Laundromat at McCormick and Seneca streets, features similar pricing. Washers come in three varieties and sizes: a top-loading washer costs $2 per cycle and front-loading washers cost either $4 or $6 per cycle.
Dryers at Lost Sock cost 25 cents for an 8-minute cycle, for as many cycles as it takes to dry your load.
“It’s a good deal for the money,” Julie Lee, personal attendant at Lost Sock, said. “Our dryers are so good that most people say about two or three quarters should be good for a load.”
By the numbers, a wash and approximately 45-minute dry at NU will cost $2.50. A wash and 45-minute dry at Lost Sock will cost $3.50.
The new equipment is expected to last about 10 to 12 years, Stardy said.
“They seem to be sturdy and are holding up well,” Stardy said.