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New Residential Hall in the works

Current residence halls aren’t up to student standards

Eric Ercanbrack

The Broadside

A new residential area is being proposed for Central Oregon Community College students. The COCC sponsored residential area is in the works, with the Board of Directors deciding next month.

Juniper Hall, COCC’s current residential building, is now 33 yrs old. According to Alicia Moore, dean of students, the buildings age is causing students to find other housing options. Moore explained that today’s students need an up to date, modern building that can meet their accommodative needs.

“For the last 20 years, actually now that I think about it, the college has been talking about wanting to upgrade and expand its current on camping housing facility,” said Alicia Moore, COCC dean of students.

“For several different reasons, some of which are budgetary, some are timing, and some are staff related we’ve delayed that [a new residential building],” said Moore.

Proposed Area for Residence Hall

An investigative article that was written by The Broadside staff in June 2008 stated that, “vomit cascades down from second story windows… mildew surrounds the fixtures and tubs in the bathrooms,” of Juniper Residential Hall. The article exposed missing fire hydrants and safety hazards. Shortly after the article, multiple students were caught selling marijuana from their dorm rooms.

“The walls are like paper-thin, there is a problem with sound,” added Gunther Klaus, a Juniper resident,  as a group of Juniper Hall residents trickled out of the building. Klaus also said that the facility is currently in fairly good condition.

“It’s not bad for what you pay for,” said Hannah Turner, a current resident at Juniper Hall. “They need to add a place to study.”

Juniper Residence Hall, which houses 102 students, is currently the only housing option that Central Oregon Community College provides for its students. This is proposed to change by 2019 with a COCC sponsored residential area.

“Our current facility has what is called a double loaded corridor. So there’s a residential rooms on either side of the corridor and a long hallway, real basic, which is what most colleges have,” Moore said, also explaining that the style of student housing at other colleges is changing into what is called suite style dorms.

Suite style accommodate for a more private setting, where students have optimized space for more seclusion while living in a college community setting.

Most of these suite style rooms usually have two doubled rooms with a shared bathroom, instead of having one bathroom for 25 to 45 residence.

“We think it’s feasible for about 325 beds,” said Moore about the number of students that could potentially occupy the new residential building.

The new residential building is proposed to be constructed near the 40 acre area that will be developed into the campus village. The Campus Village was recently approved by Central Oregon Community College’s Board of Directors.

The campus village, which is under a contract between William Smith Properties Inc. and COCC, will bring commercial, office, and residential buildings to the unused land near Shevlin Park Rd and Mt. Washington Dr.

William Smith Properties Inc. will become the master contractor behind the campus village. Two residential areas for student and public use have been written into the contract.

“What COCC is proposing is completely separate [to the campus village],” said Moore. “This has been a part of our facilities master plan for a long time.”

One of the residential areas will include a three acre “High Density Residential Area” with multi-family units, which is an apartment complex, multiplex, or duplex according to Oregon.gov.

The other part of the residential area will include a 12 acre “Low Density Residential/Neighborhood Commercial Area” which will be developed for single family uses. A single family residence is defined as a free standing home, or condominium.

The contract for the residential area states the rent for the single family area in the Campus Village will be market driven, while the rent for the COCC sponsored residential building will be determined by COCC.

William Smith Properties played a part in the construction of the Old Mill District. Citydata.com states the medium rent for the old mill district is $853.

Juniper Hall residents paid $4,448 for room cost this year, which averages to $442 dollars a month over a nine month period.

The Board of Directors will speak about the budgetary costs of the residential building at their next meeting on May 12.

“The building [Juniper Residential Hall] itself is becoming dated, and it’s time for an upgrade,” said Moore.

You may contact Eric Ercanbrack at eercanbrack@cocc.edu

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