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Additional halls planned

On Feb. 16, VSU students received an email from Kurt Keppler, VP of Student Affairs, with a survey asking if students felt the need for additional housing on campus. According to Tom Hardy, Director of Housing and Residential Life, the survey is the first step in determining the feasibility of adding another residence hall.
“It is required by our bondholders that anytime we consider adding a hall, we demonstrate a need, in order to prove we can pay back the bonds, and this helps determine that,” said Hardy.
Based on occupancy levels over the past 5 to 10 years, VSU has consistently filled 99-102% of beds each fall term. With that data already compiled, there are plans for additional housing to be added, but the timeline depends on several factors.
“The exact timeline depends on the results of the market study, the selection of a developer and/or architect and contractor, securing a location for the hall, and bond issuance. These steps take several months to a year typically before one shovel full of dirt is turned,” Hardy said.
Many students and staff are involved in developing the new housing plan. The Housing and Residential Life team, consisting of both students and staff, are working with other VSU officials to come up with a plan.
Although a new residence hall could improve the quality of living on campus, some students feel that VSU is not ready for another construction project.
“I think they should finish renovating the older buildings before they start a new project. With budget cuts, VSU can’t really afford to build anything extra,” Victoria Rodriquez, sophomore history major, said.
VSU officials do recognize that constructing another residence hall could place a financial strain on the university.
“Indebting part of the university for another residence hall is a serious matter and we can’t just build based on a desire; we have to be financially sound with a way to pay back the bond for construction, show a clear need, and gather all forms of feedback before any decision is made,” Hardy said.

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