There are no ovens in Colonie rooms. There is one kitchen on each floor that has been recently renovated with a convection oven, a brand new fridge, a sink, a kitchen table, etc.
Housing shifts slightly from year to year, depending on class sizes and other decisions. This year (2012-2013), only freshmen and sophomores are living in the Quad.
Juniors and seniors have options to live in RAHPs (Rensselaer Apartment Housing Projects), Stacwyck (Apartments on Sunset Terrace), Blitman, Colonie, Polytechnic, North Hall, E-Complex, and Bryckwyck.
I don’t have pictures of Colonie, but I could offer advice if I knew more specifics. None of the on campus housing is uninhabitable and RPI has services and methods of making things right where they may be wrong (maintenance, upgrades, etc.). Without knowing specifics about the “less than stellar” things you heard, it’s difficult for me to offer advice. What are you used to in terms of your standard of living? What did you hear that turned you off?
I will say that you will probably ride the shuttle to class unless you have a bicycle or like to walk. It’s about a 15 minute walk to class, I would estimate. You also have a convenient Rite Aid nearby.