Small Group residence halls to close next fall

Julie McKinney

Residence Services finalized a decision to close Small Group also known as the First Year Experience residence halls by the end of Summer 2008.

The First Year Experience program will relocate to the Eastway Complex in Fall 2008.

Residence Services Director Betsy Joseph said it would cost more than $25 million to update the buildings to meet the needs of today’s students.

“Our assessment is that it isn’t the type of facility that we should be throwing money into,” Joseph said.

Eight new residence halls have been built in the past six years, adding more than 1,650 beds to the housing program. First Year Experience’s closure will eliminate 600 beds. Currently 450 beds in the housing program are vacant.

Residence halls were 93 percent occupied 15 days after move-in this year. Residence Services is likely to re-configure space and eligibility requirements to accommodate students wishing to live on campus next year, Joseph said. Those decisions will be concluded by the end of the semester.

There is no final decision made about when the buildings will be demolished. It is possible that a few buildings will remain up for temporary office space during renovations of other buildings on campus, Joseph said.

– Julie McKinney