The north half of the University Center will be torn down to make way for a new residence hall. And with its demolition, two fraternities will have to give up their houses and find new places to live.
Most of the campus has already undergone a metamorphosis through the recent construction, but it looks like there’s even more to come. The College of Education is in the process of having two 300-person classrooms added to it, Converse Hall has been partially demolished to make room for the Psychology Department, Nevins Hall is still under some construction.
However, just because the fraternities will have to move out of their old houses doesn’t mean that the houses themselves are going to be demolished. Russell Mast Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students said the houses are probably going to be moved to another location closer to campus.
“The fraternities have known for months that they would need to move out of the houses by the end of the fall semester,” Mast said. “They are currently looking at locations adjacent or continuous to campus to rent, as VSU is unable to build houses for the fraternities.”
But if new buildings are going to be built, how much will they cost?
“The pro forma [the document that determines the guaranteed maximum price of the project] has not been determined as of yet,” Dr. Thomas Hardy, Housing Director, said. “Once a contractor/architect or a developer is awarded the project, we will know more. As a past reference, the Hopper and Georgia halls construction cost in the $20-25 million range when they were built.”
Even though Hopper and Georgia were worth less than the new Student Union (which cost roughly $45 million), that’s still quite a chunk of change. But perhaps more important than the cost of the buildings is where all the money would come from.
“They [the residence halls] will be funded solely through a voluntary student fee, the rent students who live with us pay,” Dr. Hardy said.
With all the construction that’s been going on around campus, one might wonder what else can be built with so little space left.
However, VSU has to accommodate the expected increase in students somehow, even if it means moving some of the fraternities around.
“As the University grows, we are expected to house 25% of all undergraduates and we cannot do that with our current bed spaces,” Dr. Hardy said. “In order for VSU to continue to be a residential campus, we need to house a fair percentage of students on campus, not off.”