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Opus Apartments on schedule for fall

Amanda Shropshire | Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Construction remains on schedule for Saint Mary’s Opus Apartments to be completed by the fall, said Michelle Russell, director of residence life. The addition will help accommodate an estimated 1,500 incoming students over the next seven years and create space for 72 residents in each of the two buildings. “Everyone is working at a great pace and we are on schedule,” Russell said. “The construction workers are here six days a week and have made great progress. The furniture and fabrics have been selected along with the wall coverings and carpet colors.” Students’ recent room selection for next year included the on-campus apartments as an option for seniors. For many, room selection is a hectic time, however students cited the addition of the apartments to simplify the process with no additional complications. “Room selection is evaluated every year to determine if it is meeting the needs of the students and the College,” Russell said. “The apartment selection was done early to help students make decisions about staying on campus or moving off. I imagine we will continue to do this process earlier, in order to continue this service.” In addition to housing more students, the apartments are designed to “allow seniors to live more independently” as stated on the Saint Mary’s Web site. “The apartments actually increased the number of returning students we have signed up to live on campus for next year,” Russell said. “The only difference that was seen was that Annunciata didn’t fill because the seniors chose to live in LeMans instead.” Senior residents show enthusiasm about living in the apartments. Their accommodations include one or two bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room and private baths. In addition, the building will include extra lounge and study space, laundry facilities, worship space and an apartment for a resident director. “We have received an overwhelming amount of excitement from the students who will be living there as they see the building move along,” Russell said. “There has been a great collaboration between the College and the construction company to complete this project and make it a reality for the women of Saint Mary’s. I think it was a fair process that everyone understood what their chances were.”With the anticipation of the campus community, it can be said that the process went according to Saint Mary’s Master Renovation plan. The progress of the apartments as well as the effectiveness of room selection has made drawing plans come to life for students as well as increasing on-campus residency. “As you can tell we are very excited about this project and think it will become part of the wonderful Saint Mary’s tradition,” Russell said.