St. Louis dorm offers plenty of amenities

Friday, August 18, 2006

ST. LOUIS -- Gene Clark's college days were over more than 20 years ago. But he's considering going back after seeing his daughter's new stylish high-end dorm at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

"It's like a hotel. It smells like a new car. And she's got a swimming pool? We don't have a swimming pool at home," Clark said. "I need to go back to college."

The university's newest $26 million state-of-the-art residence hall opened Thursday. Students hoisted boxes and suitcases of belongings into high-tech elevators that talk in a friendly voice and settled into their new digs before classes start on Monday.

"I saw the old dorms on campus and knew I had to live here. It's too cool," said Caiti Clark, an 18-year-old freshman from O'Fallon, Ill. "It feels really nice and comfortable. It's a lot nicer than any of my other college friends' places."

Campus living is moving into an age where a wireless Internet connection is just as important as running water. Gone are the days where four walls and a bed was the dorm standard. At Oak Hall, the nearly 300 beds in the building are super comfortable and ergonomically correct.

When Clark, a marketing major, arrived Thursday, she used a hotel-style swipe card to access a suite to her private room. A furnished refrigerator, microwave and wardrobe closet awaited her on move-in day.

"We're seeing a rise in more apartment-style and high-end dorms across the country," said James Baumann, spokesman for the Association of College and University Housing Officers International. "Schools have found they have to up the ante a little bit in terms of the amenities if they want students to stay on campus for more than just one year."

The six-story coed dorm and its tall loft-like ceilings offer four-bedroom suites and each resident has a private room and a large bathroom to share. There's a convenience store in the building's lobby that's open late, a heated pool and exercise and game rooms.

-- Associated Press

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: