Construction on a third residence hall for upperclassmen in Worth Hills is underway and expected to be complete by next fall, but the addition of 163 beds may not alleviate the housing crunch.
Director of Housing and Residence Life Craig Allen said Colby Hall, which houses 350 first-year women, will be closed at the start of the next school year for renovations. The new Worth Hills residence hall will likely be used as a means to compensate for that closure, he said.
Allen also said the new hall will hold about 163 beds and feature suite-style dorms similar to those in the Campus Commons. These suites include private bedrooms, bathrooms and living rooms.
Harold Leeman, associate director of planning, design and construction, said, "It'll be the same format as the other dorms we just finished in terms of bedrooms and living rooms."
Allen said, "The goal is to keep adding to capacity to meet demand, and we have a lot of unmet demand. We know that.”
The new hall brings hope that the university will have housing available for every student who wants to live on campus, Allen said.
Some students, such as junior graphic design and strategic communication double major Tiana Lewis, did not get the housing they were hoping for this year. Lewis said she would have liked to live on campus this year.
However, when it came time for her to select on-campus housing, Lewis said very few options remained.
“Our campus is beautiful, so who wouldn’t want to live there for a third year?” she said.
According to statistics from Institutional Research and Housing and Residence Life, 46.9 percent of undergraduates lived on campus in 2012, the smallest percentage since 2008.
“Eventually we’ll get to a place where we will have more juniors and seniors on campus, but that’s probably several years away,” Allen said. Allen also said there is already plenty of parking on campus, so there are no plans to build new lots.
The job site for the new Worth Hills hall has already been set up and workers are beginning the foundation in order to finish on time.