Coming soon: more housing

Andrew Boerema

Andrew Boerema

SDSU is currently looking at possible locations and designs for new student residences.

For the last eight years, SDSU’s student enrollment has climbed, stretching the already strained student housing facilities further. SDSU is rapidly approaching 12,000 enrolled students, further pressuring the housing environments.

In 2005, SDSU opened Caldwell Hall to alleviate some of that pressure, but incoming students have already taken up the new space and more. This leaves many undergraduate and incoming students wondering where they are going to live in the coming years.

“As SDSU grows, it is going to have to make sure that our building projects keep up with the demand for housing,” said Matthew Zuhlsdorf, a junior computer science major.

That is just what SDSU is planning to do. The current plan is that around 2010, one or two new residence halls will be under construction. Two plans exist right now; the first is to have a single new residence hall. There is also a second plan to construct two buildings; one to house undergraduate students, with the other geared more toward graduate students.

As a part of this process, the Students’ Association will hold a survey from April 14 to 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Main Street in the Student Union. The survey will cover questions such as what amenities students want to see in a new housing facility, what type of space (living, storage, sleeping) is most valuable to students and if the possibility of some type of shop in the building would be desired.

“When I was in the dorms, I would have really liked to see a convenience store or something. It would have been nice to have those things available,” said Christina Cronin, a junior biology major.

Other students commented that they wanted to see more space for living and storing things. Also, many students enjoyed the setup of Caldwell in that the female and male rooms were intermixed, resulting in a more social atmosphere, and having laundry rooms on more floors.

This expansion is part of SDSU’s five-year plan for Residential Life. Funding for projects like this one come from grants from the Board of Regents that are rotated among the state universities from year to year based on the number of students attending the school and the importance of the project. As SDSU is the largest regental university in the state and is growing faster than any other school in South Dakota, funding for projects as essential to the operation of the university as student housing is less of a hassle to obtain. However, it is still a major concern in the planning process. The funds are procured through fees charged to students throughout the regental universities, so when a large project is started, most students don’t even notice the slight increase in their university fees.