Residence halls add spaces to meet demand, curb overflow

Erin Madsen

Students looking for a place to live at the University will soon have a better chance of receiving a room.
Additions are underway that will add 320 spaces at two University residence halls by Fall 2001.
The new rooms at Middlebrook and Frontier halls will, according to Housing and Residential Life Assistant Director Mannix Clark, “help meet the demand for (student) housing.”
Clark said the University, as well as the Housing and Residential Life department, recognizes the need of incoming students to have University housing. This, he said, helped spur the additions proposed in Spring 2000.
Frontier Hall, which is part of the “Superblock” in Stadium Village, will expand its traditional residence hall by 150 spaces for first-year freshman students.
The 170 spaces in Middlebrook Hall will be built to provide more privacy for residents.
These suite-style apartments will allow four students in two living spaces to share one bathroom, instead of the current layout of 16 students in four rooms sharing one bathroom.
Mary Ann Ryan, director of Housing and Residential Life, said that the department will watch how these additions affect available student housing at the University.
“We’re going to carefully monitor the demands and watch predictors of demands very closely,” she said.
By focusing on the number of students wanting University housing and the retention of those students, Ryan said the University could reduce student overflow.
In the past, overflow students have had to make apartments out of residence hall study lounges, and in 1995, 1998 and 2000, several students were relocated to the Days Inn on University Avenue.
Ryan explained the hotel relocation as “extended housing.” She said that “every year, there is a certain number of students who don’t show up. This year there were 90 no-shows.”
These “no-shows” allowed the 75 students living in the Days Inn earlier this semester, to move into vacancies at several residence halls.
“The vast majority of first year students who want housing apply by May 1,” Ryan said.
Students who apply for housing before the May 1 deadline are guaranteed a room.
The Frontier and Middlebrook additions will not eliminate the overflow of students, Ryan said. But the monitoring of student demands will enable the University to decide on future student housing developments.

Erin Madsen covers community and welcomes comments at [email protected] She can also be reached at (612)627-4070 x3233