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Operation: OVERFLOW part 2

Some kids make a living in the study lounge.

And some kids, well, they actually live in the study lounge. Why? Enrollment continues to grow at USF, but space on campus hasn’t.

As a result, an excess of 230 students who were guaranteed housing by Residence Services had to be temporarily placed in study lounges in campus residence halls and at Fontana Hall, located off Fletcher, said Tom Kane, director for Residence Services.

Kane said 20 students have been placed in rooms that generally serve as study lounges in Beta and Castor halls. The students were provided with beds, Ethernet connection and other amenities that they would receive if they were housed in traditional rooms in those halls, Kane said.

“You can’t really tell (it’s a study lounge) in Castor Hall, but in Beta the pipes run between the walls,” Kane said. “So, those kids will probably want to move.”

Kane said 80 students, who were on a waiting list, were moved into residence halls as contracts were cancelled. But another 95 students now remain at Fontana Hall waiting to hear whether it will be their permanent home, Kane said.

“It’s an interesting time in regards to the university because we just continue to grow,” Kane said. “We’re building more housing but we’re just not ahead of the curve.”

Students were notified during the summer that they would have to be housed at Fontana Hall because of the overflow, Kane said. He added that students were also given the option to cancel their contract.

Kane said Residence Services will know next week of vacancies that will be available for the students. But if vacancy isn’t available by Sept. 21, then students will have to choose whether they want to remain in Fontana until January or break their contract for a $100 fee.

Students are charged for breaking their contract because Residence Services can still provide them with housing, Kane said.

But the $100 fee falls far short of the revenue Residence Services would receive for a full semester of service.

“They are set up so they can still use their financial aid, but we’re not making any money on the students living there,” Kane said.

Kane said besides the student population increase, Residence Services has had to deal with a 240 bed deficit that was created when the Village was deconstructed in June to make space for a $14.5 million Greek housing plan.

The seven-building Greek housing community will open in Fall 2003 adjacent to the Village off Maple Drive. The buildings remaining at the Village will be eliminated in May 2003.

Kane said Maple Housing will open at the corner of Maple and Holly drives in Fall 2003 as well, and by August 2004, the campus will be able to house 4,400 students.

Kane said the construction for the new housing was delayed during the summer because of the designs.

“It took a little longer than we anticipated,” Kane said.

If the buildings aren’t ready to open as expected, Kane said Residence Services has an agreement with the building contractor that they are entitled to pay for appropriate housing and transportation for students off campus.

“We’ve had that statement for the other structures, and we’ve never had to use it,” Kane said.