The Student Village 2 apartment complex, which will add 962 much-needed beds to Boston University’s on-campus housing stock, is nearing the end of the city approvals process, according to Peter Cusato, BU’s vice president for auxiliary business affairs. The Boston Zoning Commission signed off on the project in early September, and the final approvals are expected to be in place by the end of the month.
The news was welcomed by the Office of Housing, which placed nearly 600 students in the Hyatt Regency and Holiday Inn hotels this semester to accommodate overflow among the first-year students.
“The city wants us to house a higher percentage of our undergraduate population, and we believe that living on campus is best for the students and the University,” says Marc Robillard, director of the Office of Housing. “There’s a very strong demand for housing.”
The new residence, designed by the architectural firm Cannon Design, will be located behind Agganis Arena and is intended to offset the increasing need for apartment-style housing that will appeal to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. The building consists of two towers — one of 19 stories with eight-person suites, and one of 26 stories with four-person apartments. The suites will have four single and two double bedrooms, with a shared kitchen and two bathrooms; the apartments will be similar to those at 10 Buick St., with four single bedrooms per apartment.
“We need to give students some variety,” says Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore. “It’s helpful for us to add several types of housing.”
Currently, approximately 11,190 BU undergraduates, comprising 76 percent of the student population, live in campus housing. The new building would increase this percentage to 80. Ultimately, Robillard says, the University would like to be able to house 85 percent of its students, and both University President Robert A. Brown and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino (Hon.’01) are supportive of the effort.
“I think providing students with more on-campus opportunities is a direct response to keeping the students central to our mission, and living on campus improves the educational experience for everyone,” says Robillard. “I think as the campus has developed, especially with the Fitness and Recreation Center, students want to be part of the action. There’s much more gravitational pull.”
“For a university to have its scholars nearby adds to our reputation,” adds Elmore. “It’s one of those subtle things that enriches us.”
Construction is scheduled to begin in early December, and the project should be finished in 2009.