This article first appeared in The Tartan on September 21st, 2010 //
On Friday Sept. 10, more than 50 students moved into apartments leased by Radford University on Downey St., between the Bonnie Hurlburt Student Center and the Covington Center.
The move was in response to overcrowded dorm rooms on campus, with a large number of students living in triples. Two other buildings in Hunter’s Ridge are being used in the same way, housing around 100 students. The students living in the Hunter’s Ridge apartments were able to move in at the start of the semester.
The Downey St. apartments were originally leased by RU to be used as office space. After it was decided they would not be used as office space, the apartments were offered as housing for students.
“It’s the same with Hunter’s Ridge,” said RU Director of Housing Operations Jeff Orzolek. “It was based on the number of students we had living here on campus, and just a need to expand a little bit.”
Orzolek cited a boom in enrollment and the renovations underway in Madison and Jefferson Halls as the causes for the crowded dorms, and said this was a way to decrease the number of triples. A few days before the move, select sophomores, juniors and seniors were notified of the opportunity to move to Downey Street via e-mail.
The rooms were offered on a first come, first served basis.
“Moving 54 students from residence hall spaces on Friday into Downey Street means there are 54 fewer triples, as we start to go through that de-tripling process,” Orzolek said.
He said that after those students moved out of campus housing, their space would then be offered to students living in triples, which they are reducing as quickly as possible.
When asked about the pros and cons of living on Downey, sophomore Melissa Moore couldn’t think of any cons. Her new place is closer to her classes, there is air conditioning, and she has a room to herself. She said the move was slightly inconvenient, but she got lucky.
“My parents were in town for the weekend, so they helped me move,” Moore said, “I saw a lot of people carrying things here from Muse.”
The apartments were already furnished with desks, beds, dressers and living room furniture. They also have wireless Internet, cable and utilities included. Like the dorms, there are Residency Assistants on site. There are two RAs and one Residency Director at Hunter’s Ridge, and one RA on Downey Street, with the same responsibilities they would have on campus.
The rules and regulations are the same as the apartments on Calhoun Street. The main difference in the apartments is the alcohol policy. Students living in any of the three off-campus apartment complexes that are over 21 are allowed to have alcohol, as opposed to on-campus apartments, where alcohol is prohibited regardless of age.
At $2,080.00 per semester, it costs the same amount for the students to live in the apartments as in the dorms, unless the student moved from a traditional residence hall (meaning one that has no air conditioning or other upgrades). Orzolek said the difference for those students was an extra cost of about $166.00 per semester. As for the cost for the university to lease the buildings for the year, no sources could be reached for comment.