A new lease on campus life- New $7.5 million Maple housing development will open in August 2003.
The construction of Holly apartments was not the end of the Residence Hall Enhancement plan. It was just the beginning. Tom Kane, director for Residence Services, spoke with the Residence Hall Association Feb. 11 to discuss the newest phase in the enhancement plan: the Maple residence halls.
The complex will be built on top of the Beta parking lot, and, in the end, Maple will sit at the intersection of Holly and Maple Drives, in front of Beta hall.
“About one-third of the Village will be shut down this summer, and a crew will begin to drill in the parking lot within the next 45 days,” Kane said. “(This will begin) most likely after spring break.”The drilling in the parking lot will not affect the parking of any students. It is simply to test that the ground is adequate to build on, Kane said.
This summer, the Beta parking lot will be closed so construction can begin on Maple housing, which will open in August 2003, while the Village will be completely gone by May 2003, and later turned into a park.
Maple hall will house 28 students on each floor plus one resident assistant. Two students will share a room and an adjoining bathroom will link two rooms. In the middle of each floor there will be a common area where residents can lounge and study. There will also be a common kitchen for the residents at the end of each hall. Each room will contain its own air control, such as Holly apartments, and a sink that is separate from the bathroom.
Kane said the growth rate of new residents is increasing each year, and they need rooms to house everyone. In 2001, the residence halls housed approximately 3,900 students. By 2004, USF is expected to have approximately 4,500 residents, and by 2007 there will be approximately 5,500 to 6,000 students living on campus, Kane said.
“Maple will have 230 beds and will be mostly for freshman,” Kane said. “After Phase II-A is done, we will begin construction for another 600 beds, 300 suites and 300 apartments.” Harold Nixon, vice president for Student Affairs, said Maple housing will cost $7.5 million to build.
Kane said the budget for the plan is not affected by the recent budget cuts because Residence Services is a self-supported service.
“We don’t receive state money. We build from the money the residents pay for rent to live on campus,” Kane said. “As long as we stay full, we will be OK.”
Tammy Pierce, a resident in Castor and an RHA senator, asked Kane why there is more concentration on building new housing instead of renovating the old housing.”It’s because it is all about financial issues,” Kane said. “We need to build new halls, open those up and then renovate the old ones. This helps keep the cost flow going.”
Pierce also said she is concerned about safety since the amount of parking will decrease once the building and renovating will be done, and students will have to walk farther distances at night.
“What about the crime rate? Won’t it rise?” Pierce said. Kane said he is not sure the crime rate will rise, but did note that before Holly was built, that area was a parking lot, which students had to walk across to get to the other side of campus.”Cars had more vandalism there than students have now in the parking lots,” Kane said.
After Phase II-A is finished, parking for Beta hall and Holly will be located in the lot across the street, at Parking Services or behind the Village across from the tennis courts.
“There will definitely be an increase in parking by the tennis courts and the Village,” Kane said.
Joe Nirenberg, vice president of policies and procedures for RHA, asked Kane about possible parallel parking along East Holly Drive to help solve the parking problem.
“We have to have four lanes along campus. Plus it will be very expensive,” Kane said.
Kane also added that the curbs and bike lanes accommodate parallel parking and that all those costs add up.
After the construction is finished, parking on campus will eventually become remote. But Kane said in most universities parking is not needed for its on-campus residents.
“If you live on campus you don’t need a car to get around,” Kane said.
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