Cheap dorms demolished
After being a home away from home to many students, Cougar Place, a residential dorm facility, will be demolished this summer, leaving students to have to find new living accommodations at an increased price.
“The facility has far outlived its expected life span, and officials have decided to deconstruct Cougar Place in order to make room for future housing,” a press release by Lindsay Marshall, University Services Communications Coordinator said.
Displaced students will have to find new places to live and will have to pay more money if they choose to stay on campus.
Students living in Cougar Place paid the least amount for any campus housing, at about $471 per month for a single.
Students in Moody Towers paid about $579 per month for a single and Cougar Village singles paid about $663 per month. Apartment housing on campus starts at $600 per month.
“The deconstruction of Cougar Place this fall will not result in the displacement of any students. The housing agreements are for an academic year or for a summer semester, so they will have expired prior to the beginning of the project,” said Emily Messa, assistant vice president of University Services.
Anthony Agi, a post-baccalaureate student studying hotel and restaurant management, has lived at Cougar Place since August. He plans on moving to Cullen Oaks during the summer due to the demolition.
“I would have loved to stay here, but it’s old,” Agi said. “We are benefitting from cheap rates, but a lot of people complain that it is old, the air conditioning is too loud and there are roaches running around.”
Agi didn’t mind the difficulties because of the reduced rates, but he is also excited to be moving to a location.
“I have mixed feelings, other places are better, but this is cheaper,” Agi said.
Agi said he would pay about $80 more per month at Cullen Oaks.
Cougar Place demolition is planned to take place towards the end of summer 2011. Students living at Cougar Place will not be evicted due to the demolition.
“No student will be evicted. How much students will have to pay now will depend on where they relocate,” said Richard Bonnin, executive director of media relations. “A new Campus Housing Booklet has been completed and is available online. University Services is being proactive in sharing information about housing options and is reaching out across campus to answer questions.”
All Cougar Place material, fixtures, and furniture that are in good enough condition will be either reused around campus or recycled. The mural, done by artist Malou Flato, will be taken down, but will be restored and installed in another campus location.
“The Cougar Place building is being deconstructed,” said Bonnin. “The university will re-use as much of the material as possible in keeping with its commitment to sustainability initiatives.”
A new housing complex will take the place of Cougar Place.
“The University is in the programming stages for sophomore-style housing, which will be located on the former Cougar Place site,” Bonnin said. “We anticipate 800-1,000 beds being available at this site, but that’s a preliminary estimate. The number could easily change as plans develop.”
Proposals have been made to increase the total number of available beds on campus.
“The administration is currently having a wide-ranging discussion of all of the issues relating to student success and residential life as we prepare to have 8,000 residents living on campus by 2013,” he said.
There are 4,031 available beds on campus. 2,225 of them are filled, which leaves about 57 percent vacant.
To increase the number of students living on campus, proposals have been discussed, but none have been submitted to the Board of Regents for approval.
One such idea included “looking toward the requirement of Freshman living on campus in Fall, 2013,” according to the Office of Vice President for Student Affairs March 23 Staff Meeting minutes.
Additional reporting was conducted by Darlene Campos.