Students waiting out the quads housing lottery last week noticed a interesting trend develop as more rising seniors opted to live in Coles Tower, leaving spots for juniors at Harpswell Apartments.

While Director of Residential Life Kim Pacelli said final statistics were not yet available for this year's lottery, she said that seniors chose Coles Tower earlier in the lottery than usual.

Pacelli said just under 30 juniors will be living at Harpswell next year, which houses approximately 50 students, and one block of juniors will be living on Pine Street.

"I cannot remember another year, either while working in the office or during my student experience, where we had so few seniors in Harpswell Apartments, in particular," she said. "Some years we see a smattering of juniors in blocks with seniors, but usually Harpswell and Pine Street go before the Tower?this year it was the opposite."

Pacelli said one probable explanation seniors opted for Coles Tower over Harpswell is the construction of the new ice arena between Farley Field House and Harpswell Apartments that will take place next year.

Between July and October, a construction team will replace the soccer field next to the apartments with a parking lot and then begin building the arena. Residential Life posted a document on the housing lottery Web site to inform all potential residents.

Harpswell Apartments Residential Assistant Ashley Conti '07 worked at the Harpswell registration table during the housing lottery. She said that the "general consensus" was that seniors were avoiding Harpswell and choosing Coles Tower instead.

"One of the biggest things is the construction?a lot of seniors were commenting that they didn't want to live at Harpswell because of it. That was a huge turnoff from living there," she said.

Conti added that a lot of rising seniors currently living in Coles Tower opted for it again after being satisfied this year. She also said that the field by Harpswell Apartments is one of its "main attractions," with sporting events and space to hang out, so removing it takes away from the appeal.

Morgan Macleod '09 said he originally planned to live in Coles Tower with his block, but ended up choosing an available Harpswell apartment, instead.

Macleod said he has no qualms with the housing and thinks it is "fantastic," even with some construction.

"One of the great things about living in apartments like Harpswell is hanging out on the porch on a sunny afternoon," he said. "A lot of traffic and construction will certainly take some of the peacefulness out of that. But really, there are downsides to anywhere you choose to live?all the options for housing here are pretty reasonable."

While Jessica Horstkotte '08 said that it was possible construction might have deterred some seniors from living in Harpswell Apartments, it wasn't a factor for her housing block in Coles Tower.

"We wanted to be more central on campus, so it was either Chamberlain or the Tower. I just think that a lot of people have friends in the Tower and it's going to be a really fun place filled with seniors next year," she said.

Aside from the unexpected selections by juniors and seniors, Pacelli said that the lottery has gone well this year, with its updated online services and condensed time frame.

"Things have moved remarkably smoothly this year. Students are well informed about the deadlines and process, and stress related to the process seems a little more managed this year," she said.

"One of the things we've tried to do better this year is to prepare students, particularly rising sophomores, that they're not necessarily going to get their first choice and to be prepared. My sense is that people may be disappointed, but they understand that as a rising sophomore, it is a seniority system," Pacelli added.