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Saint Mary’s to open apartments

Anne Mahoney | Friday, October 31, 2003

New Saint Mary’s on-campus apartments will be open for residents next fall, public relations director Melanie McDonald said.

The apartment building, designed to house 73 students, is the first of its kind to be built at Saint Mary’s. On-campus apartments are a growing trend at colleges and universities nationwide, and construction has already begun on the complex.

McDonald said that on-campus housing is an attractive option because it provides security and helps students stay more involved.

“Seniors are an important part of college life,” McDonald said. “We are hoping to keep these students around because it’s hard to get them back on campus after they move off.”

A student survey administered last year at Midnight Madness found an overwhelming number of students in favor of the new option.

“I would definitely be interested in living in the new apartments,” junior Kate Lohmuller said. “On-campus housing with the convenience of location and the same freedoms as off-campus living has a huge appeal.”

The three-floor plan includes both two- and four-bedroom apartments. Each comes furnished with a kitchen and dishwasher, and a laundry room is located in the basement. Each floor will have a lounge, and an outdoor deck will be built on the second floor and a chapel on the first floor. Storage will also be located in the basement.

The cost of the project will be about $5 million, half of which came from an anonymous donor.

Most students have expressed curiosity about the guidelines for the new housing. McDonald said residence life policies are still being discussed by a committee composed of herself, director of student affairs Linda Timm and student representatives. Decisions will be made in January with the help of a professional advisor, and the guidelines are expected to be different from the residence halls.

The same committee also plans to discuss the selection process for future seniors interested in living in the apartments. No final decision has been made about whether students will submit applications or if a lottery will be used.

Additional apartment complexes may be included in Saint Mary’s long-term plans, depending on available funds.