FAU plans to build new housing and parking space by 2013

Regina Kaza

Since the freshman dorms can’t hold all the freshmen, and parking complaints are only growing, FAU has decided it’s time to solve these issues.

At the Board of Trustees meeting on Dec. 14, the Financial Affairs Office and Department of Housing updated the BOT on their plans to build a new freshman dorm and parking garage by August 2013.

This year, FAU admitted over 3,600 students for fall classes, a 19 percent increase from 2010. FAU’s freshman dorms house only 1,902 students.

According to Housing Director Jill Eckardt, after placing some incoming freshmen in dorms, 600 students were still left without housing assignments.

“We were still left with a majority of students and that majority were freshman,” Eckardt said.

FAU is now planning to build a freshman dorm with 600 beds that, they say, should be ready by fall 2013. According to Eckardt, the current estimated cost for the new building is about $41 million. Although Housing is still undecided on a location, the options available are all on parking lot space near the current freshman dorms.

“We seem to build buildings on parking lots and we’re actually going to go ahead and build some parking first so we can accommodate our residents halls,” said Senior Vice President of Financial Affairs, Dennis Crudele.

This extra parking space will be a garage made for 1,000 cars on the north side of the Boca campus, between the stadium and the Innovation Village Apartments. There is also a possibility of having retail space on the first floor, according to Crudele.

Additional on-campus food retail will also be built with these new projects. “Currently, right now, all freshman housing students are required to have a meal plan,” Crudele said. “And at this point we have one resident dining hall.” According to Crudele, without more dining locations, FAU will not be able to accommodate the new students.

Housing and Financial Affairs will present a more detailed plan to the Board this February after collecting more information and will propose the projects for approval in March.

“This was just an update to tell you that this is coming and we have plans on the table,” Crudele said. “It’s important to show this committee where we’re headed.”