Five months after they were ordered vacated, igloo-like housing units known as the Domes have reopened to students at UC Davis.
Students have moved back into some of the 14 units in advance of the start of winter classes, the Solar Community Housing Association reported. The association and the university reached an agreement allowing the local nonprofit group to offer new leases.
University officials had announced in February 2011 that they would cease to offer leases for the prefabricated fiberglass-and-foam huts erected in the early 1970s as an experiment in sustainable living saying the structures were falling apart.
In March, the Solar Community Housing Association proposed to step in as a third-party management group, repair the Domes and lease them to students for the next five years.
In November, volunteers completed about 90 percent of the necessary repairs, from painting to installing new ventilation. Last Wednesday, university safety inspectors approved occupancy for seven of the 14 domes.
The association also hired contractors to make one of the domes wheelchair-accessible and to renovate another to serve as a welcome center and office for coordinating projects. That work is to be completed in July.