REBECCA BAINER — News Writer
In the Fall of 2012 Southern students will have another option to make their home away from home; Sound Development group is currently building off-campus housing on Pine Rock Avenue.
Mike Perkins, associate of Sound Development Group said the company is building 30 units, each with four bedrooms and three bathrooms, a living room and a kitchen.
“They’ll rent for $600 a month per student,” said Perkins. “We’ll have four students in each unit so everyone gets their own bedroom.”
Perkins said the units come fully furnished and some of the utilities are covered in the cost of rent, but students will be responsible for some bills, such as electric and cable.
Sound Development broke ground on the project about two months ago, Perkins said, and he is already meeting with students who are interested in moving.
“Unfortunately we don’t have a model unit ready for students to walk through, that should be completed in five to six weeks,” said Perkins. “In the meantime we’ll meet on site, show them some floor plans, some site plans, we’ll start exchanging information, answering questions and giving them information.”
“Most colleges are really experiencing housing shortages,” said Perkins. “I don’t think Southern is excluded from that. A lot of times students want to get off campus, want to have a bigger spacious place with their own bedroom. We’re just trying to provide services to the students that they may or may not already have.”
Executive Vice President of capital budgeting and facilities operations, James Blake, said when an outside contractor builds housing near campus they go through the normal planning and zoning of the city, whether it be Hamden or New Haven.
“There’s all sorts of hoops that you have to run through,” said Blake, “to deem approval to build a multiple family housing.”
This isn’t the first time Southern housing has had to compete with off campus housing; Blake said there are Wintergreen Apartments near campus as well.
“It all depends on how the apartment is priced,” said Blake. “Many times when you add up the final number our housing or resident experience is very competitive and includes everything from utilities, Internet, parking, things that may be in a private housing would be added charges to a student.”
Blake said currently about 2,600 students live on campus and it’s easier for students because they’re closer to their classes and activities. Also, since freshmen cannot have a car, this can be a big plus to living on campus.
“What we find is of our freshman class around 900 students, 1,300 will live on campus,” said Blake, “and many of our athletes and upperclassman continue to live on campus sophomore and junior year.”
Another factor that keeps students living on campus is safety, said Blake.
“We have our own police force here,” said Blake. “From a security standpoint we’re a fairly safe campus. Sometimes with parents and with students those are important considerations.”
Many of the dorms have recently been renovated, said Blake, with roof replacements, new brick exterior and new lobbies. Farnham Hall has been completely redone and Blake said that is the plan for each of the straight-line dorms.
“We want a building that when someone goes to live there for eight or nine months they’re proud to call that their home away from home,” said Blake. “It’s safe and up-to-date, so that’s really the goal.”
Peter Walter, an accounting major and desk attendant at Chase Hall, said there are a number of rules for students who live on campus that might prompt them to move.
Walter said in dorms that allow alcohol, students can only sign a certain amount of it in, and students must worry about their noise levels, and Walter said he thinks it’s because of these rules that students may consider moving off campus.
“Obviously they don’t like it, but they follow the rules,” said Walter, “if not there’s punishments. They can loose their guest privileges or go to Judicial Affairs.”