New building considered as alternative

With residence halls at full capacity here and at other universities, college administrators face building new facilities or revamping those they have.

“There is a possibility (of a new residence hall),” University President Julio León said.

Adam Griffin, director of student housing, said a new residence hall will be necessary; the only question is when.

“How near in the future, we do not know yet,” Griffin said. “You don’t want to just jump the gun and just build something else if our numbers aren’t going to continue to go up.”

Griffin thinks the University needs to start looking into another building.

“If we ever do build another residence hall, including more single rooms,” he said, “(it) would definitely need to be in consideration. I think the discussion needs to start now.”

He said they do not want to have to turn away students.

“If we are having to turn 100 people away, I don’t think we are doing our job in making this a student-friendly college,” Griffin said.

León believes it will be necessary.

“I believe that our enrollment is going to continue to grow,” he said.

Steve Erwin, associate vice president for campus life and auxiliary services at Pittsburg State University, said PSU is looking to diversify the style of its residence halls.

At Webster University, two new residence halls opened in August, which have 343 beds. John Buck, associate dean of students, said the demand for housing exceeded the supply.

“Each year, we would open with a waiting list that sometimes would be more than 30 people long,” Buck said. “We needed more housing to meet the demand.”

Webster closed two of the old residence halls and brought the number of beds from 500 to 625.

Buck said the students who live on campus do better academically and are more likely to “persist” to gradation.

“There was an incentive of retaining more students that was also a factor in our decision to build more residence hall space,” he said.

Because of the addition of two new buildings, Buck said they are in the beginning talks of determining the future housing needs.

“We have no plans to build additional housing at this time,” he said.