After 40 years of anticipation, Dixie State University students can look forward to new on-campus housing.
Phase one of the master plan details a new dormitory on the grass space just west of the Nisson Towers. The new housing will provide 350 more beds on campus and is slated to be completed fall 2016.
Seth Gubler, director of housing and resident life, said there is a concern for more on-campus housing.
“Every year since I’ve been here, [on-campus housing] is 100 percent full when fall semester starts,” Gubler said. “All the student housing complexes around campus fill up quickly, and we’re getting more and more students who come from out of state who want to live on or next to campus.”
He said typically every year around 55 percent of students who live in on-campus housing are out-of-state students. Administration had to accommodate a number of international students last year with hotel arrangements because there wasn’t anywhere for them to stay on campus, Gubler said.
Sherry Ruesch, executive director of campus services, said advertisements were posted in the community asking if people could open their homes to students in the past. She said it remains to be seen whether or not that will happen this year.
“I think it’s going to be tight this year,” she said. “I think we’re not ready for that growth as far as housing.”
There are 332 total on-campus beds available each year. Residential life has received 351 applications for the upcoming fall. However, Gubler said there are technically still open bed spaces because not all of the applicants have submitted a deposit.
The $19-million building will be the first of three steps in the campus master plan. Phase two relies on the success of phase one; that is, as long as the new housing produces enough revenue, the next step is to tear down Shiloh Hall and build new dorms there. Assuming the first two phases are financially healthy, the Nisson Towers will be torn down to complete the third phase.
“We’re looking at a plan that’s about six to 10 years to be completed, and that’s assuming the first building is successful and subsequently this second building as well,” Gubler said.
Campus services will be choosing an architect and construction company on today to design and build the new dorms, Ruesch said. Construction is slated to begin in August or September.
“Students have been asking for new on-campus housing, (and) there have been a lot of administrators working on this project,” Gubler said. “It’s just very exciting to see all those conversations eventually come to fruition, and I’m excited for the students.”