New dorms ready to open in time for the next school year

Construction on the new dorms located in the parking lot near Gate 7, which began last spring, is scheduled for completion by August 2008, just in time for the 2008-2009 school year.

Although figures have not been finalized, the construction of the new dorms will cost an estimated $30-35 million, according to Brij Anand, Vice President of Facilities.

The dorms, which are now about 30 percent finished, are being built in order to reduce the growing need for housing for incoming and current St. John’s students.

Currently around 2,300 students live on campus and the addition of more residence halls will be the first addition since August 2002, when Donovan Hall opened.

“These townhouses will give more people the opportunity to gain the student experience of living on campus on a 24/7 basis,” said Anand. “This will provide them with an enriched educational experience both in and out of the classroom and a lot of other activities that are centered about student life.”

One key addition to the new dorms will be a courtyard which “will help and support the living and learning needs of the community.”

While no decision has been made on whether the new buildings will house only freshmen, upperclassmen or a combination of both, a decision should be made just before construction is completed.

Some students welcome more living space on campus.
“[The new dorms] would be a great help because finding housing is a big concern,” said sophomore Jason Buda. “Every year there is less and less space for the upperclassmen and finding off-campus housing is hard.”

Sophomore Natalie Perez agreed. “I think last year a lot of freshmen lived in hotels for the first few weeks because there was no space and then some of them had to share singles, so more dorms would be good,” she said. “I think the only negative is that there is now less parking space for commuter students.”

However, not everyone felt the same way.

“I don’t really think it makes much of a difference,” said student Ryan Fong, “A lot of people choose to move off-campus after their second or third year anyway.”