Campus Development: More students to live in residence halls

By By Michael McFall

By Michael McFall

With the Residence Halls and apartments nearly filled to capacity, the U plans to expand on-campus living to meet students’ demands.

The campus master plan proposes construction at four different sites: student apartments at the University Village, the Medical Towers and around the Stadium TRAX stop and residence halls near the Annex Building by the Huntsman Center.

The Medical Towers and potentially the University Village will be remodeled, and the housing proposed for the Stadium TRAX stop and Annex area will be new construction.

Waiting lists for existing campus apartments can range from several months at University Village to a year at the Medical Towers, said Clint Simmons, office assistant for student apartments.

The current remodeling of the Medical Towers apartments lowers the living space for students by about 67 units, Simmons said. Construction should be finished around July 2008, which will help alleviate the long wait and student demand.

In the Residence Halls, about 98 percent of rooms are occupied, and single-student shared apartments are about 93 percent full.

By 2016, there will be 257 more students enrolled on campus without room to live, according to a projected estimate by the master plan consulting firm.

Student apartments in the west half of the stadium parking lot should not only create more room for students but make transportation accessibility more convenient, said Eric Browning, a U campus planner.

Parking space will be provided underneath the new residential buildings. Tentative plans to build commercial and educational buildings in the stadium parking lot have been proposed, as well.

Plans for residence halls at the Annex are vague. The company does not have a sure idea about whether the halls would be constructed around the Annex, near it or in place of it.

The future locations of the English Language Institute, parks, recreation and tourism department and other groups that use the Annex have not been discussed.

There hasn’t been a discussion of the cost of building the new residence halls and apartments because plans are still in preliminary stages. Private contractors have not been contacted, Perez said.

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