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Ashton Woods Access: December 2016
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Leaseholders automatically receive the Access each month. If another member of your household is interested in receiving the newsletter, he/she can sign up online. The newsletter is also available at


See what's going on in your community with the December events calendar.

Holiday Office Hours

The Family & Graduate Housing office will be closed on Friday, December 23, Monday, December 26, Tuesday, December 27, 2016 and Monday, January 2, 2017 for Winter Break. Office hours will be adjusted for Wednesday, December 28 through Friday, December 30, 2016. 

December Graduates: Early Lease Termination Forms Are Due!

Residents who are graduating or losing their University affiliation for any other reason must submit an Early Lease Termination form to the Family & Graduate office immediately. Forms are available online at the University Housing website ( or at the Family & Graduate Housing office. Residents are billed for rent a minimum of 45 days from the day their completed Early Lease Termination form is returned to the Family & Graduate Housing office.

Resident Resources

Graduating? Leaving University Apartments? Cleaning out your kitchen cabinets? Donate unwanted items to the Lending Room. Items needed include microwaves, rice cookers, pots/pans for cooking, eating utensils/silverware, coffee makers, dishes, and cups. The Lending Room does NOT accept TVS, computer monitors, window air conditioners, furniture, couches, or anything made of cloth. Drop items off at the Lending Room (located at Orchard Downs 2044-A) on any Saturday between 9:00–11:00 a.m. You can also email to coordinate a drop-off in the Family & Graduate Housing office. The Lending Room will be closed on Saturday, December 24, 2016 and Saturday, December 31, 2016 for Winter Break. Questions? Contact Keach at

The Daniels Hall Desk, located at 1010 West Green Street, has various equipment available for residents to use free of charge. Need a vacuum cleaner to tidy up your room? Need a bicycle pump to fill up your tires? Then stop by the Daniels Hall Desk, open 24 hours a day to check out any of the following equipment: vacuums, bicycle pumps, a battery charger, a tool box and snow shovels.

Grab a Zipcar for a few hours to run errands, the whole day for a local shopping or sightseeing trip or a few days for a vacation getaway.  Every trip includes gas, insurance and 180 free miles per day. One Zipcar is parked at Orchard Downs in the North Laundry Parking Lot and the second is parked at the South Laundry Parking Lot. Join Zipcar for $15.00 at

Orchard Downs Pre-School and After-School

The Orchard Downs Pre-School and After-School programs Jr. Club and Kids’ Club will be closed for the Winter Break. The last day for the semester will be Friday, December 16, 2016. The Pre-School, Jr. Club, and Kids’ Club will reopen Tuesday, January 17, 2017. For questions or additional information, contact Sara Jenkins at

The Orchard Downs Pre-School has a few openings for the spring semester. The Pre-School maintains a high-quality, low-cost education for 3 to 5 year olds. Children must be toilet trained. The Pre-School is a diverse and stimulating environment providing many activities to enhance the social, physical, and emotional growth of each child. Located in the Orchard Downs Community Center, the Pre-School offers a half day program from 9:00–12:00 p.m. and full day program from 8:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m. The Jr. Club after-school program extends child care hours until 5:30 p.m. For further information, please contact the Family & Graduate Housing office at (217) 333-5656 or the Pre-School office at (217) 333-3497.

Ashton Woods Events

Ashton Woods Movie Night: Tuesday, December 20
Come on out to the Ashton Woods Community Building from 6:00-8:00 p.m. for a little winter fun. We will be watching a holiday-themed movie together, while staying out of the cold weather. All families welcome. If you have questions, please contact Jenna Hickey at

Tuscola Bus Trip 
We will be going to Tuscola again for winter shopping on Saturday, January 14. Registration will begin on Monday, December 19 at 9:00 a.m. Adults and Children pay $5. Please register at

Santa Skate
Ice Skating is so much fun! Come skate with us at the Ice Arena (406 E Armory Ave, Champaign – take the 8W Bronze from the Orchard Downs South Shelter and get off at Fourth & Armory) on Saturday, December 17 from 4:30–6:30 p.m. We will have hot cocoa and candy canes, and Santa will be there!

Winter Tips

If you wish to decorate a tree in your apartment this holiday season, please purchase an artificial tree. It is against University Housing policy to have a live tree inside your apartment. Live trees can be a safety hazard and are not permitted in any of the apartment buildings. Let’s celebrate safely!

December brings the start of colder temperatures. Review these tips to ensure a safe and comfortable heating season:

  • The maintenance department does not perform seasonal air conditioner removals. If you have a personally owned air conditioner installed in your apartment and request to have it removed for the winter, you will be charged $50.00 to have it re-installed this spring/summer. If the air conditioner in your living room was provided by University Housing, it cannot be removed under any circumstances.
  • Do not use the area around your furnace as a storage area – keep items at least 18 inches away. Items stored too close to a furnace can ignite.
  • The grille/grate on the wall adjacent to the furnace room is your apartment’s cold air return. Please leave a minimum of 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 centimeters) in front of it for best functionality – and it will help reduce your utility bill.
  • Set your thermostat at a temperature that is comfortable for you, and then leave it there. A setting of 68 to 72 degrees is most common during colder months. You may wish to lower the temperature a 3-4 degrees when you are sleeping or out of your apartment for several hours. Never lower your thermostat temperature below 60 degrees. This damage water pipes during extreme weather conditions causing flooding in your apartment and your neighbor’s apartments.
  • If you decide to put plastic over your windows to keep out the cold, do not use duct tape, packing tape or standard masking tape. These tapes will peel paint off of the wall or window if left on for more than a couple of days. Winter window kits are available from the Family & Graduate Housing office first come, first served. These kits come with plastic and tape that can be removed more easily.

If you follow all of the above tips and experience problems with your heat, submit an online Maintenance Request. If your furnace stops working during cold weather, please call the emergency maintenance telephone number (217) 333-2779 immediately.


  1. Dress in multiple layers of clothing to keep you warm.
  2. Carry a shovel and a good ice scraper in your car. Be sure to have extra blankets and extra clothing in your car in case the car breaks down.
  3. Check the weather before you leave the house to make sure you are prepared for the forecasted weather conditions.
  4. Do not sled near roads, vehicles or other crowded areas. Adults should always supervise children when they are sledding.
  5. Set time limits on outdoor activities to prevent the opportunity for frostbite. Children should come inside occasionally to warm up before returning to the outdoors.
Programs at Orchard Downs

All University Apartment residents are invited to participate in programs at Orchard Downs. See below for more information.  

Family Game Night: December 2

Join us at the Orchard Downs Community Center on Friday, December 2 from 6:00–7:30 p.m. for a family game night. All families are welcome to join in the interactive fun and stay out of the cold weather! If you have any questions, please contact Jenna Hickey at

Winter Clothing & Toy Exchange: December 10

In need of some winter clothes or new toys for your family? Please join us at the Orchard Downs Community Center on Saturday, December 10 at 2:00 p.m. for a winter clothing and toy exchange. All residents are welcome to participate; please bring a minimum of one toy or one article of winter clothing (such as a sweater or coat) to exchange. CLOTHING AND TOYS MUST BE WASHED PRIOR TO EVENT. If you have any questions, please contact Jenna Hickey at

Parents’ Night Out: December 19

Bring your kiddos to the Orchard Downs Community Center on Monday, December 19 from 6:00–8:00 p.m. for Parents’ Night Out! Qualified volunteers will host kid-friendly activities and a story time; this is the perfect time for parents to get out and do some holiday shopping. In order to participate, children MUST be registered for this event. Children not registered will not be allowed to attend. Please use this link to sign your kids up by Wednesday, December 14: If you have any questions, please contact Jenna Hickey at

Birthday Bingo: December 21

Were you born in December? If yes, please come celebrate your birthday at the December Birthday Bingo on Wednesday, December 21 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. at the Orchard Downs Community Center! We will have cake and prizes for the winners! HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you December Babies! 

Gingerbread House & Cookie Decorating Extravaganza: December 22

Join us at the Orchard Downs Community Center on Thursday, December 22 at 2:00 p.m. for a sweets extravaganza. We will be decorating gingerbread houses and cookies to celebrate the upcoming holidays. All residents are welcome to participate in the fun and stay warm and dry during the winter weather. If you have any questions, please contact Jenna Hickey at

Karaoke Night; December 27

Do you enjoy singing? Please come share your voice at Karaoke night at the Orchard Downs Community Center. The event will be on Tuesday, December 27 from 7:00–9:00 p.m. This event is free and open to residents, so please come take advantage of this opportunity to share your favorite songs with us. For questions, contact

Community Programs

Sewing Room Temporarily Closed

The Sewing Room, located in the Learning Resource Center (2044-A Orchard St.) will be temporarily closed until a new Sewing Room monitor can be found.  The Sewing Room monitor is responsible for opening the Sewing Room each Saturday at 9:00 a.m., monitoring activity and providing assistance to residents using the sewing machines and then closing the Sewing Room at 10:30 a.m. The Sewing Room monitor is a volunteer position which provides a very appreciated service to all of our Family & Graduate Housing residents.  If you are interested in applying for the Sewing Room monitor position, please contact a Family Housing Council member or the Family & Graduate Housing office.

Parent-Child Playgroup

Come play and learn with us! Parent-Child Playgroup will meet on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. at the Family Resource Center (1834-A). Caregivers and children ages five and under participate in fun and educational activities, such as crafts, music, story time, and snacks. Contact Candace Brahm at with any questions.

Welcome to the World

Babies are a sign of hope and bring much joy to our lives. At Family & Graduate Housing we would like to welcome your newborn to our community with a small gift. This is our way of saying, “Welcome to the World!” If you have recently welcomed a new baby into your family, please contact Candace Brahm at brahm2@illinois.eduor the Family & Graduate Housing office at (217) 333-5656.

Women’s Support Group

Come join us for tea and conversation. The Women’s Support Group is a comfortable space for women to bond and learn new skills while supporting each other. There will be weekly workshops on a variety of topics such as art, cooking, stress-management, parenting, and more. This group will meet Thursdays from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. at the Family Resources Center (Orchard Downs apartment 1834-A). Childcare will be provided. For more information, please contact Candace Brahm at

International Women’s Connection
The International Women’s Connection (IWC) is a friendship & cultural exchange group that was started in 1987. Since then hundreds of women have had the opportunity to practice English, make friends and learn about American culture.  The group meets every Wednesday from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. for a free English class and from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. for various activities to help you adjust to American life. The location for the meetings is Twin City Bible Church, on the corner of Lincoln & Michigan Avenue, Urbana (approximately 6 blocks northwest of Orchard Downs).  The IWC welcomes women of all nationalities or religious background and any level of English fluency. Childcare is also provided. For more information, visit or email Ruth at

MultiCultural Health Center

The MultiCultural Health Center (2040-A Orchard Street) hosts a free medical clinic every Thursday from 6:00-8:00 p.m. This is a walk-in clinic staffed by volunteer medical students and supervised by a licensed medical professional. For several years, HeRMES has operated in partnership with area health clinics that serve the uninsured and underserved of Illinois.

Clinic Hours

Please call (217) 265-6267 to make an appointment during the scheduled hours listed below.  Walk-ins are also welcome.

Monday: 2­–4 p.m.
Tuesday:  12–1:45 p.m.
Wednesday: 2–4 p.m.
Thursday: 2–1:45 p.m. and 5–8 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

For more information, please contact Robert King at

HeRMES: Every Thursday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Doors open at 5:30. 

WIC Hours: Friday, December 2 & Friday, December 16 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Clients who are receiving coupons can only pick up their coupons from the MCHC office on the 6th and 12th months. The coupons sent during the first 3 months and the 9th month must be picked up at the C-UHD office. Clients must also make sure to register on the WIC website in order to make themselves eligible to pick up WIC coupons at the MCHC. This will allow each resident's coupons to be delivered to the MCHC for pick up. 

CCCHC Services: Champaign County Christian Health Center is a non-profit clinic in our community located at Presence Community Resources Center on Wright St. on the Presence Hospital Campus, with a satellite office at the MultiCultural Health Center by appointment only. Please contact CCCHC through the appointment line, (217) 402- LOVE (5683), if you need assistance with primary care. For more information, visit

Woman, Infants and Children (WIC) Services: WIC services are provided for women, infants and children and are offered by the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District. Services for WIC participants include supplemental nutritious foods, nutrition education, counseling, screenings and referrals to other health services, welfare and social services, and immunizations for children. (Note: Clients who are receiving coupons can only pick up their coupons from the MCHC office on the 6th and 12th months. The coupons sent on the first 3 months and the 9th month must be picked up at the C-UPHD office. Clients must also make sure to register on the WIC website in order to make themselves eligible to pick up WIC coupons when available at the MCHC prior to pick up so it can be delivered to the MCHC for pick up.)

For stress-management consultation email

Maintenance Requests

Pest Control

Ashton Woods buildings 2317 and 2319 will be inspected during December. Treatment will be provided only as needed; twenty-four-hour advanced notice will be given prior to treatment. To request treatment, visit

Pet Owners: please put your dogs in the small bedroom between the hours of 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. after we post a dated notice on your door. We need to enter your apartment to inspect for pests and change your monitors. We will be at pet apartments Monday and Tuesday during your posted time to prevent your dogs from being locked up all week. Thank you for your cooperation!

Important Contacts

Ashton Woods Office phone: (217) 244-7551

Complex Director

CJ Holterman
Phone: (217) 333-5656

Community Aide

Rachel Pharris

Dario Acosta & Alejandra Jimenez Alcala &

Other Contacts

Family & Graduate Housing Office: 333-5656
Emergency: 9-911
U of I Police (non-emergency): 333-1216
McKinley Health Center Dial-A-Nurse: 333-2700
Student Insurance: 333-0165