Demand for housing for college students is on the rise. CSUN housing aims to ease the demand by adding 396 more bed spaces for Fall 2009 semester students.
Two new dormitories and a recreation center will be built behind Lindley Avenue and north of the Track and Field, said Tim Trevan, director of housing.
“The $31.2 million construction project is on time and on budget at this point,” Trevan said. Funding for the construction of the three buildings comes from a state bond and housing cash reserves.
Construction for the new dorms, building 16 and 17, are in the fifth of the eight stages, said Michael Runza, the project manager. The rectangular-shaped building 16 and the L-shape building 17 will be four stories high. Three levels of the dorms are complete. The framing of the recreation center will start in June.
Complete framing of the three buildings is scheduled to be finished by the middle of August. Runza’s goal is to complete the framing by the end of July or the beginning of August.
“If there was not any problems, I wouldn’t have a job,” said Runza, who manages 30 to 40 companies for the construction site. Other than normal construction problems, everything has been pretty good, Runza said.
“Students have respected the construction site, and housing and the university has been very accommodating,” Runza said.
The interior walls, exterior walls, and the electric, heating ventilation and air condition (HVAC) will be the last three stages of the construction before the contract ends in April 2009, Runza said.
Housing staffers will later equip each of the buildings with furniture.
The first stage of demolition started in December when housing fenced off the pool, basketball, volleyball courts and a portion of a parking lot near buildings 3, 4 and 5. The construction workers leveled the surface of the parking lot, the basketball and volleyball courts, Runza said.
Trevan said parking is not an issue. The parking structure near lot G9 has two floors of parking that are not being used on the busiest day. There is also additional parking behind building 14 and across Lassen Street in lot F10.
For the upcoming academic years, the price of the dorms will increase by 5 percent, Trevan said. The most expensive dorms will be the apartment-style with a kitchen that cost $5,684 for the 2008-09 academic year. The new dorms will be less expensive, but the apartment-style without a kitchen will be the least expensive, Trevan said.
The dorms will be built in four clusters for 32 students, Trevan said. There will be semi-private bathrooms and no kitchens. Students will have to purchase a meal plan.
New dormitories are being built differently from the apartment-style dormitories, Trevan said. The dorms will be better suited for first-year students because there is more community involvement.
“I think its cool, but it doesn’t really affect me,” said Danielle Robinson, a sophomore psychology major at CSUN. Robinson said she does not agree with the dormitory style because the apartment-style dorms are “cooler.”
Housing officials may find there is not a demand for new dorm style. If this occurs, the campus will revert to the old apartment-style, Trevan said about the future dorm buildings.
Adrianna Robinson, a freshman, deaf studies major did not meet the April 10 deadline to apply for housing because she was considering her college options.
“I was unsure of what college I wanted to go to,” said Robinson, who later decided on CSUN because of its deaf studies program.
Robinson was number 290 on the waitlist for housing during the 2007-08 academic year. She spent almost two months at CSUN without a dorm.
“The hardest part of not having my own dorm was being in someone else’s dorm and being silenced,” Robinson said. “I had to play by their rules.”
If not, Robinson would have had to commute from Compton.
“I would have to get up early and waste more of my parents’ gas because I don’t have a license,” Robinson said.
As of May 27, the waitlist for housing is 555 students for the fall 2008 semester, Trevan said. Most of the 400-plus students on the waitlist during the 2007-08 academic year were first-time freshmen.
“Most of the returnee remember the date and get it taken care of. There might be 50 stragglers who don’t remember the date,” Trevan said.
Maria Baltazar, a senior psychology major, was a returnee who missed the first payment, so her name was included on the waitlist. Baltazar commuted 35 miles from Pasadena to CSUN everyday.
“The commute was too much gas, and I was a taxi service to my siblings,” said Baltazar, who lived at home for the beginning of the semester.
“I was so pissed,” said Baltazar, who was offered a bed space in late October. “My friend had an empty bed space for six weeks and housing said there was no space available.”
Travan said “there isn’t a huge demand from returnees. Most of the demand is freshmen that want to live on campus. As more housing becomes available, more returnees may increase.”