- Cape businessman known for starting NARS dies at 49 (2/23/17)9
- Apparent punch at girls basketball game propels lawmaker into action (2/21/17)4
- Business notebook: Owners ready to roll out the Barrel 131 (2/20/17)7
- Japanese restaurant up and running; owner surprised by fondness of sushi here (2/24/17)
- SoutheastHEALTH, Washington University School of Medicine announce collaboration (2/24/17)19
- Missouri bill would limit transgender school bathroom access (2/22/17)48
- MSHP: McLendon shot in side; autopsy refutes witness account (2/19/17)23
- Annual father-daughter dance provides some fun bonding time (2/19/17)1
- City issues precautionary boil order near Arena Park (2/23/17)
- $22M bond issue would alter Jackson schools (2/22/17)13
College dorms going upscale
GWYNEDD VALLEY, Pa. -- The residence hall at Gwynedd-Mercy College is so new it doesn't yet have a name.
What it does have wouldn't pass for the old definition of "college dorm": suites with air conditioning, Internet access, a full kitchen and a semi-private bathrooms shared by only four students.
Gwynedd-Mercy, a small Roman Catholic college in suburban Philadelphia, is part of a nationwide campus building boom that has seen traditional dorms replaced with upscale residence halls.
Wired and roomy
These new buildings are typically wired for high-speed Internet and cable, sometimes come with refrigerators, freezers and microwaves, and are arranged suite-style, with two rooms grouped together with semi-private bathrooms. Colleges are also building apartment houses on campus, with living rooms, private bedrooms and full kitchens.
Traditional dorms -- those cramped, noisy places where privacy is nonexistent -- are out. Colleges simply aren't building them anymore.
"Most students growing up don't share a room anymore,"said Joan Schmidt, president of the Association of College and University Housing Officers International. "I think it's a shock to their systems, because they're not used to sharing."
According to a February survey by College Planning & Management magazine, 96 percent of new dorms have Internet and cable access, 90 percent are air-conditioned and 71 percent feature a kitchen and recreation rooms.
They're also more secure: 67 percent have card-access systems and nearly a quarter use video surveillance. Average cost to build: $6.2 million.
"They are being designed now to meet today's students' needs. That includes privacy and yet the need to see and be seen -- large open gathering spaces where you can walk through on the way to class and say hello to a couple of friends," said Ellen Kollie, editor of College Planning & Management.
Oklahoma State University has opened seven apartment buildings and four "deluxe suite" buildings in the last two years as part of a $78 million residence hall expansion. None even remotely resembles a 1960s-era dorm.