The heated debates between Quinnipiac University and the town of Hamden over additional campus construction came to an end over the summer. In early June, Quinnipiac was approved to build a new dormitory and additional parking spaces.
“The townspeople saw they would prefer student living on campus rather than out in the community,” said John Morgan, director of public relations at Quinnipiac University. “When they didn’t want to build new dorms, the university was forced to buy houses in the community. After a year, the neighbors thought it would be best to build a new dorm,” he continued.
Construction on the yet unnamed dormitory has begun behind the Ledges, a freshman complex. It will house 384 students in a suite setting and will be a combination of three and four floors. There will be kitchens for several suites to use common areas.
The new dorm, which will feature a glass front, is another step that Quinnipiac is taking to control overcrowding, a problem that plagued the school last year when 1,400 freshmen flooded the campus.
This year there were only 1,250 freshmen and they are banned from bringing cars to the campus, unless they are commuters.
With 96 additional students living in Quinnipiac-owned Hamden housing and the senior class no longer in the residence halls, the problem of over-crowding has been quieted.
“We believe the new dorm is a better solution,” said Morgan. “We believed that all along and now we are glad the townspeople agree.”
Once completed, the additional dormitory will allow the increased number of students in other rooms to return to the intended number, said Carol Boucher, associate dean of student affairs and director of residential life.
“The current plan is that it will house returning students such as sophomores and juniors,” said Boucher. “We are bringing the over crowding problem into a manageable state.”
In addition to students in the sophomore suites, who are packed in with ten suitemates instead of the usual eight, there are several students who are using four study lounges as bedrooms in the Commons and the Ledges. 25 students are also being housed for the semester in the Carriage House Hotel in Hamden.
The Whitney Avenue parking lot, constructed last year, has helped to alleviate some parking overflow, but with the massive number of commuter students, there are still not enough spaces to go around.
“We are still having parking issues,” said Boucher. “A larger amount of students are requesting stickers than there are spaces. There are still some pretty unhappy people.”
Quinnipiac is in the process of creating 170 new spaces in the Hilltop lot behind the Village dormitory. The first 70 should be completed by Sept. 15 with the rest done by Nov. 1.
Michael O’Neill, vice president of public relations for the Student Government Association, said Quinnipiac is taking the right steps in providing a better quality of residential life for the students.
“We are heading in the right direction as far as the coalition and communication between Quinnipiac University and the town of Hamden,” said O’Neill.