Plans for new dorm move forward

Published 6:18 pm Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Point University is moving ahead with plans to have its first dorm completed at the West Point campus in fall 2018. After originally considering a $26 million bond from the West Point City Council, the university decided to apply for a loan from the United States Department of Agriculture, according to President Dean Collins.

“The clear path and best path to build the downtown dorm is to use the Community Facilities Program that the USDA offers to smaller communities. That is in partnership with Charter Bank,” Collins said. “The status is in the Washington, D. C. office. It has already moved from the state director of the USDA to the national office.”

Collins said getting the plans prepared for the dorm has been a long process.

“We think we’re close to the finish line, but sometimes things don’t move as quickly in Washington as you would like them to,” he said. “We’re hoping that, in this fall, we’ll break ground.”

The four-story, co-ed dorm is projected to house over 400 students. Currently, the university has apartments for all of its students, Collins said.

“It has distinguished sections for women and men. They’re segregated and so we’re not mixing men and women on the same floor,” he said. “All of our students currently live in apartment complexes and most of them are a ten-minute ride away from campus.”

The university wants the dorm more focused on housing underclassmen, but upperclassmen can also reside there, Collins said.

“The dorm is focused on the freshmen, sophomore experience. It won’t be exclusive to that, but that’s the primary focus,” he said.

Collins said the university wants the dorm built in order to cut down commuting time for students.

“This is our fifth year of running shuttles that are basically 20-minute roundtrips that our students will no longer have to endure or enjoy,” he said. “They’ll literally be able to walk out of their dorm and cross the street to the cafeteria or to the main academic center.”

Collins said a new dorm would give the university a more complete campus feeling and increase enrollment.

“We feel that it’s a critical step in completing a more campus feel because right now, we have academic facilities, music facilities, athletic facilities, but we don’t have the housing. And housing is the big part of the traditional college experience,” he said. “We think it will strengthen the student experience. It will increase retention. It will increase our ability to recruit students”

Tuition and housing costs will not increase because of adding a new dorm, Collins said.

“There’s no spike in the housing costs due to the dorm,” he said.

The building will be located at the block of 10th and 9th Street and the intersection 3rd Avenue, Collins said.

“It’s right where the foundry used to be. It was demolished during part of the staging of this,” he said. “It is ready to go. We just need the final approval.”