October 05, 2006

Two new apartment buildings near completion

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Students soon will begin moving into the first of three new on-campus apartment buildings at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, officials said.

Workers will complete construction of the first Wall & Grand Apartments building at the end of the fall semester, said Lisa M. Marks, interim director of University Housing. Students will be able to move in during January in advance of spring semester. SIUC will send the students updated information when construction is complete, she said.

The first building will house 142 students, two community assistants and the complex director. It contains the common space and some services for the other two buildings, such as a lounge area, mailroom and staff offices. A convenience store will open there next fall, as well.

Students will live four to a unit and choose from two- and four-bedroom floor plans. The price includes all utilities, cable television, local phone service and Ethernet connections. Each furnished apartment also comes equipped with dishwasher, microwave, garbage disposal and washer/dryer and either a balcony or patio.

"Students today are expecting more amenities than they did 20 years ago," Marks said. "The really nice option here is that it's all in one in package with no hidden costs. They are all individual contracts, so students don't have to worry about their roommates not paying their share of the rent, and they don't have to worry about varying utility bills."

University officials and dignitaries broke ground on the project during ceremonies Oct. 13, 2005. When complete, the complex will house about 400 students and staff. Freshmen 21 years old and older, as well as sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students are eligible to live there.

The complex is part of the University's Housing Master Plan, created in 2004, which projects SIUC's student housing needs during the next 15 years.

The second building is set for completion in winter as well, Marks said. It should be ready to house students for spring semester. Work will be complete on the third and final building early in 2007 and the University will lease those apartments to students for the fall 2007 semester. Each of those two buildings will house 126 students and two community assistants.

Students make a $500 prepayment and are billed through their University accounts by the bursar's office, Marks said. With on-campus housing, students do not have to pay first and last months rent and a deposit up front, as is the common practice in privately managed apartment buildings.

Marks said the new buildings will give SIUC students a great option for housing.

"It's a great advantage for those students who would like to remain on campus," Marks said. "These are the first single undergraduate student apartments offered by the University, so it's the first time students have had this option."

Williams Bros. Construction of Peoria is the general contractor.

Enhancing housing programs that acknowledge the diversity of student needs is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.