October 13, 2005

Ground broken for campus apartment complex

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale officials today (Thursday, Oct. 13) broke ground for the 147,000-square-foot Wall & Grand Apartments, the first new housing construction on campus in 37 years.

The complex is going up on the northwest corner of Wall Street and Grand Avenue, just east of the nearly completed Student Health Programs facility, which is adjacent to the Student Recreation Center.

An ambitious construction schedule shows students moving into the apartments next August. Williams Brothers Construction of Peoria is the general contractor.

The complex will house 400 freshmen age 21 and older, sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students. Fully furnished two- and four-bedroom units will offer two bathrooms, washer and dryer, fully functional kitchen and either a balcony or patio. Plans also call for a large lounge area, convenience store and outside terrace.

"This is a very exciting project, as it will give us a new opportunity to respond to our students' expectations," Chancellor Walter V. Wendler said. "This complex, the new health center next door and other projects around the campus help demonstrate our commitment to moving the University forward."

University Housing began taking applications for the apartments at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 3. By 8 a.m., 130 applications were on file.

"We now have more than 400 applications and it continues to grow," housing Director Edward L. Jones said, noting University Housing will take applications until Oct. 21. "The biggest part of that is student involvement. Students helped design this complex; they had a chance to help pick the color of the carpeting, the design of the furniture. People support what they help to create."

University Housing will select tenants through a lottery.

The 100-unit complex is part of the 2004 SIUC Housing Master Plan, which projects the University's housing needs over 15 years. Student input gathered for the plan indicated the need for more apartment-style units.

Building new housing that responds to emerging trends among students is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.