Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


FAU approves new freshman dorm to be built by 2013

FAU plans to construct a new dorm by 2013 in order to accommodate the incoming influx of freshmen. Innovation Village Apartments was the latest housing addition, built last fall. Photo by Christine Capozziello.

FAU approved a new dorm to be built for 600 freshmen, but they don’t have the money to do it yet.

The Board of Trustees voted on a new housing project that will be built by next year. For the past four years, FAU has faced state funding cuts and last month the Florida Senate proposed a 33 percent budget cut to FAU’s university wide funding. But even raising tuition by 15 percent isn’t enough to support this cut. So FAU plans to take out a $50 million loan that will take 30 years to pay off. The loan will be paid off by student rent collected from the new dorm according to Vice President of Financial Affairs, Dennis Crudele.

“All resident halls’ housing are paid from the rents and the costs of the rooms,” Crudele said. “It’s not from the legislature which appropriates money or the students’ tuition and fees –they are separate.” This means the state has nothing to do with this new housing project and it’s up to FAU to pay for it. Student rent will be anywhere from $3,400 for a double and $4,200 for a single room, per semester.

FAU requested a loan to pay for the $41.7 million dorm but they won’t get it until the Board of Governors approves the project in May, according to Interim Director of Media Relations, Lisa Metcalf.

“The amount of our request will not exceed $50 Million,” Crudele said. “That will be sufficient to build the residence hall.” In the past, state funding like P.E.C.O., funded all housing projects. P.E.C.O funding is money that FAU gets from gross utilities like water, electric, gas, and sewer bills from the community. “Because of the basic economic climate we are not getting as much money out of the gross utility receipts tax which funds P.E.C.O,” Crudele said.

The lack of P.E.C.O. funding isn’t the only problem FAU has faced the past couple of years. Last fall, more than 600 freshmen didn’t have a place to live because FAU wasn’t prepared for the 3,850 students that applied to live on campus, according to Director of Housing and Residential Life, Jill Eckardt. They were placed in Innovation Village and University Apartments.

“We don’t believe that these apartments are the best situation for an incoming freshman,” Eckardt said. Because of this, the housing project can’t wait since FAU is planning to accept even more freshmen this fall, according to Eckardt.

“We are excited that at this point we don’t have to relocate any Owls,” Eckardt said about the incoming freshmen.

The dorm will be built on top of parking lots located on the south side of the current freshman dorms. A new parking garage will be built to help with the loss of parking. Besides building more parking, FAU is making the new dorm a “green building,” according to University Architect, Tom Donaudy.

By using recycled material supplies for the outside structure, the new dorm will be built with eco-friendly architecture. “We are committed to building green,” Donaudy said. The eco-friendly building will also have new things FAU has never had.

One such new thing is a faculty member living in the new dorms to help freshmen better transition into their college classes, according to Eckardt. “Our building will have a faculty member who will live in this building and be required to have office hours in that building,” Eckardt said.

Besides having the faculty suite, the seven story building will include a multipurpose room, a fitness room, lake side dining, and a community washer and dryer. The dining area will be located on the ground floor and will have food stations like a salad bar and frozen yogurt. These venues, however, will not be part of students’ meal plans and they will pay for these services on their own, according to Eckardt.

The official building plans are not ready yet, but the design is set and just needs to be put on paper, which will be drafted on April 4.

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  • J

    JerryApr 5, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Why do they have to take out a $50mil loan to build all this fancy stuff? We have the rec. Faculty living in is stupid. And dining would be better elsewhere, people who don’t live there want more dining but don’t want to have to walk all the way to the south side of campus. Just built it elsewhere. You can probably even save yourself some money.

    P.s. a 24/7 Dennys would be AMAZING on campus!

  • J

    JamesMar 30, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    “‘We don’t believe that these apartments are the best situation for an incoming freshman,’ Eckardt said. ”

    YES they ARE… just goes to show how out of touch FAU is with the college housing world… FGCU got a massive increase in popularity after they built apartment style housing for freshmen… that was the ONLY reason. You think people went to FGCU for a good education? or great athletics? please. They went there because the apartments let them feel like an adult and thats what college students want.