If you attended college prior to 1990 and lived on campus, chances are you lived in a “dormitory” style residence hall with double-loaded corridors, double-occupancy rooms and the furniture in your room most likely anchored to the floor and/or walls. Worse yet, you probably shared a “group” bathroom with as many as 30 to 40 other students on your floor.
Since you weren’t allowed to cook in your room, at mealtimes you had to trudge over to the central dining hall no matter the weather, and you probably had to eat dinner by 6:30 or 7:00 pm before the kitchen closed for the night. If you craved a meal or snack later in the evening you were on your own. Thousands of pizza shops nationwide can credit their success back then to closed dining halls.
Millions of baby boomers can close their eyes and remember those days vividly, and they aren’t necessarily bad memories – that’s just the way dorm life was in those days.
Fast forward to the present day and life at campus is much different.
Students now live in apartment “suites” that include private bedrooms and baths, a kitchen, living room, cable television and computer hookups. Many also include other amenities such as workout rooms, swimming pools, covered parking and housekeeping services.
And because state budgets are being stretched to the limit, university administrators and trustees are adjusting the priorities of their capital budgets – placing more emphasis on education and research facilities than on new dormitories. Many universities and colleges have no plans to build any new dorms in the future.
As a result, the private sector views the demand for new student housing as a development opportunity. Private developers have been successfully building and managing off-campus student apartments for more than 10 years. And the trend is that more and more of these projects are coming online at campuses all across the country.
One such example is The Flats at Wick, a student housing complex adjacent to Youngstown State University in Ohio. ms consultants worked with US Campus Communities on the project, the company developing the site located directly across the street from two existing residence halls.
With the first building opened for the fall semester of 2010, plans are moving forward for the next phase of what will ultimately be a 216-unit, 450-bed student housing complex when completed.
Each building includes one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units, and each floor plan includes separate baths, a kitchen, common living areas, ample storage and walk-in closets.
On-site parking is provided to each residence, and the building layouts include laundry rooms on each floor, study rooms, a computer area/recreation center, and a lounge and large lobby for visitors. Security is also provided for the entire complex.
ms consultants provided comprehensive architecture and engineering design services, including architecture, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, life safety systems design, landscape architecture and site civil engineering.