One hundred forty-one single bedrooms are planned to be added to the York Hill campus in the West Wing apartments next year, according to Cindy Long Porter, director of Residential Life.
In an effort to better accommodate seniors, the blueprints of the original West Wing will be modified from a six-person suite to five, creating three single bedrooms and a larger common room. Because of these changes, the deadline for students to put down housing deposits was extended to Dec. 15.
“From day one, as we started to market this to seniors, we saw that their preference was single bedrooms,” Porter said. “So we began the discussion of whether or not we’d be able to offer students what they were looking for, specifically single bedrooms.”
The changes were put into works after communication with the current junior class cabinet, surveys from both Residential Life and the junior class representatives, and focus groups with current students.
“It was a matter of working with the architects and seeing what we could do,” Porter said of the changes. “The foundation had already been laid, so our options were limited.”
The senior living spaces will also have a 10-month lease, where students will be allowed to stay in their housing from an expected Aug. 1 move-in until their final exams in May, winter break included.
Three hundred forty-nine juniors have put down housing deposits for next year, and according to Porter, her “inbox has been filled” with students asking questions about the new York Hill housing since she sent out an e-mail with regards to the single-room changes.
According to construction workers, the plans have not yet been finalized, though President John Lahey has accepted the proposed changes. The modifications will not put much more of a strain on the work schedule, one worker said.
The West Wing, along with the planned York Hill Village apartments, will be the center of the “young adult environments,” with programming for students who are 21 and older. The Village apartments will be six-person apartments, with three double rooms.
“This is really the first time we’ve gotten to look at creating a senior community,” Vice President and Dean of Students Manny Carreiro said. “We do believe we are taking advantage of an opportunity that we’ve never had before.”