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New Residence Hall in the Works

Every year the time comes when emails are received and lottery numbers are assigned to designate what student gets to pick what room on what day. The better the number, the better the residence hall. Many will be glad to hear that a new residence hall is in the works to help accommodate those who get left out of housing each year.

“We want to build a new residence hall not to address an increased student enrollment, but rather to respond to an increased demand for student housing on campus,” said Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student and Community Services, regarding the reasons for building a new residence hall.

Currently, the only guaranteed housing is for the incoming first-year students who arrive at the University every fall to begin their college career. That is an aspect that the University hopes the new residence hall will fix.

“Most especially, we want to be able to guarantee our first and second-year students housing with us on campus for two years.

Nagy said. “At the present time, we guarantee first-year students, but after that students must participate in the housing lottery process.”

The hope is that the additional space will ease the currently high demand for rooms on campus.

“With additional beds on campus, we are confident that all of the demand by second-year students for housing can be met and they will no longer need to move off campus,” Nagy added.

Raymond Gonzalez, the Associate Director of Housing Operations of the Office of Residential Life, said “We are trying to provide more students the opportunity to live on-campus, including juniors and seniors.  It is my hope that the new residence hall will provide us the flexibility to do that.”

Gonzalez echoed the thoughts of Nagy and commented on how the increased space will help ease the stress of students trying to work out their living situations every year.

“Additional beds will provide more opportunities for students to live on-campus instead of moving off-campus,” he said.

Another aspect that many students will be very glad to hear is that the new hall will hopefully cease the need for overcrowding like the case in many current dorm rooms. “We are trying to eliminate the use of triples and only keep them where appropriate,” Gonzalez said.

The new residence hall will be situated in lot six, which is the parking lot currently located to the right of Cedar Hall and behind Spruce Hall on the residential side of campus.

In terms of the style of the new residence hall, Nagy said that it is supposed to be a traditional corridor style, very much similar to the likes of the recently built Mullaney Hall.

The new residence hall also would house a few extra features not seen in the University’s other residence halls. “We also hope to have a small food service operation there operated by our food service provider,” Nagy said.

According to Gonzalez, an important goal of the building of a new residence hall is to minimize or eliminate the current waitlist on which many rising sophomores are placed in order to get housing for the following year. More beds and more space will hopefully put this problem to bed. 

While these plans for a new residence hall are in the works, there is no set date for the beginning of construction yet. “The timing of construction is not set yet,” Nagy said. “We must finalize our plans and take them to the Borough of West Long Branch for approval, but the goal would be to do so later this spring or early summer.”