Third floor of dorm shut down for rest of semester following fire, college paying for students' new housing

By Hilary Lane

ONEONTA, N.Y. - SUNY Oneonta has chosen to close the third floor of Matteson Hall for the rest of the spring semester following a fire in a residential suite there on Wednesday afternoon.

School officials say preparations are under way to relocate the third floor's 56 residents to rooms at other residence halls on campus. It is not known for how long the other floors of the building will be closed.

It is likely that the college's temporary shelter for displaced students at the Chase Gymnasium will be shut down late Thursday and beginning Thursday night, the college will pay for displaced students to stay at the Holiday Inn in Oneonta. Oneonta Public Transport has agreed to extend a bus route to provide transportation from the hotel to campus free of charge to students.

Officials say the college's custodial staff will be working continuously to clean Matteson Hall. Pending a final safety evaluation by the City of Oneonta Fire Department, it is anticipated that students may be able to return to their rooms to recover essential items by tomorrow at 2 p.m. The Residence Life Office will supervise that process. Students will need to make appointments to gain access to Matteson Hall to retrieve their belongings.

SUNY Oneonta President Nancy Kleniewski reached out to parents of Matteson Hall residents early Thursday afternoon, offering an update on recovery efforts and thanking them for their patience.

SUNY Oneonta has asked faculty members who teach Matteson Hall residents to give them special consideration with regard to attendance, meeting assignment deadlines, and being prepared for class during this difficult time.

The SUNY College at Oneonta Foundation is accepting donations to benefit victims of yesterday's fire at Matteson Hall.

To make a gift online, visit

Gifts should be designated to the “Matteson Hall Fire Fund” in the box marked “other.” Checks may be made payable to the SUNY College at Oneonta Foundation and submitted to the Office of College Advancement, 308 Netzer Administration Building, SUNY Oneonta, Oneonta, NY 13820.

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