U campus boasts two new residence halls

by Joel Sawyer

The University has long been thought of as a commuter campus, lacking a stronger sense of community because of the large numbers of students living away from campus.
This fall, University officials hope to begin changing that perception by opening two new apartment-style residence halls that will together house about 300 additional students on campus.
Roy Wilkins Hall, owned by the University, and Argyle House, owned by Dinnaken Properties Inc., should help create a stronger sense of community on campus and address the shortage of housing that plagued the University last fall, University officials said.
Roy Wilkins Hall, named after the civil rights leader and 1923 University graduate, is located next to Sanford Hall on University Avenue. The hall is the first University housing facility built since Middlebrook Hall was constructed in 1969. The 74-unit complex will hold 121 upperclassmen and graduate students.
Argyle House, located at 920 Delaware St., will house the majority of the University’s Residential College students. Residential College is a program where University faculty and students learn, study and dine together.
University administrators agree that one of the best ways to increase community and create a better college experience for students is to bring more students on campus.
“What makes a great college is the students,” said Marvin Marshak, senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “By building new units we’re offering a variety of apartments to stay in on or near the campus community.”
It is important that students interact with each other and with faculty, University officials said. And one way to help facilitate that is to house more students on campus.
“Community is not an extra, it’s a big part,” Marshak said of the whole University experience.
Last fall, on-campus housing was scarce. The shortage forced more than 40 incoming freshman to live in campus-area motels for several weeks until suitable housing could be found. No such problem exists this year, said Guy Piotrowski, a student placement assistant in the University’s department of Housing and Residential Life.
But the opening of the new residence halls has not eliminated the housing shortage. Currently, 253 students are housed in residence hall lounges until permanent quarters can be found.
Rents at Roy Wilkins Hall range from $300 to $450 a month per person. The building contains efficiencies and one- and two-bedroom apartments. All utilities, including laundry and local phone service, are included with rent. Each unit also has one parking spot in a lot behind the building.
Argyle House has 44 furnished one- to four-bedroom apartments. Rent ranges from $300 to $425 a month per person and includes heat and water. Meeting rooms, study rooms and a computer room are available, as well as on-site parking and laundry facilities.
“Argyle provides quality housing superior to anything else you can find in this area,” said Yvonne Grosulak, vice president of Dinnaken Properties Inc.
Grosulak said Argyle House provides more privacy than a traditional dormitory but, like Roy Wilkins Hall, lacks food service. Students must supply their own food.
Argyle House was the result of a public-private partnership with Dinnaken Properties and the University. Dinnaken Properties Inc. also developed and owns the Dinnaken House and Tarrie House apartment buildings in Stadium Village.
Under the terms of the partnership, Dinnaken Properties Inc., which built Argyle House, will own and manage the property. The University will administer Residential College programs in the building.