The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 31.0°F | Mostly Cloudy

BU To Build New Undergraduate Dorm for Fall of 2000

By Efren Gutierrez

MIT is not the only local institution preparing to build a new undergraduate dormitory in the next few years. In fall 2000, Boston University will be opening the biggest dorm it has built in the last 30 years on Commonwealth Avenue.

Demand drives construction

The main factor driving Boston University to build this new dorm is a high student demand for on-campus housing. Rising costs in Boston and a low rate of vacancy have forced upperclassmen to request on-campus housing.

Unlike MIT’s current residence assignment policy (and similar to the policy outlined in the Residence System Steering Committee report), Boston University’s residence assignment policy requires that all freshmen to live on-campus freshman and to choose their housing selection during the summer.

Kevin R. Carleton from Boston University’s Office of Public Relations said, “Demand for on-campus residency has risen over the past decade due to the rebirth of the real-estate market in Boston. Back in the 1980’s, there was a high vacancy rate, so many students decided to live off campus. Today, it is the reverse condition.”

“We admit more students that we can house, because some students change their minds over the summer about attending Boston University. If there are still excess students, then they will be housed at a Howard Johnson’s,” Carleton said.

BU’s current housing policy, which has been in effect for the last ten years, is to house all excess students in Howard Johnson hotels. As many as 200 students spend their fall term in a Howard Johnson’s, Carleton said.

New dorm specifications

BU’s new dorm, for which construction began last fall will cost $80 million, which will mostly be paid through loans and grants.

It will house 817 students -- average-size for a BU dorm but considerably larger than the average MIT dorm. Students will occupy an east tower with 18 stories, a west tower with 15 stories, and a central tower with nine stories.

The new dorm will have four single rooms per suite. Each suite will contain a kitchen, a living/dinning area, and two full bathrooms plus storage.