New Residence Halls Set for Construction
With increased interest in students engaging in residence life on campus, Buffalo State College is moving ahead with plans for a two-unit $50 million campus housing project slated to begin construction after Commencement 2009. Estimated project completion is anticipated for fall 2010. The two L-shaped four-story halls are expected to create 503 bed spaces in apartment-style housing.
For the past several years, Buffalo State has experienced an increase in demand for on-campus housing. In fall 2007, a market study was completed by Brailsford and Dunlavey, a national leader in student housing, to determine the demand for housing at the college. The study noted a deficit of 740 bed spaces. Since that time, Buffalo State has taken key steps to address the issue. In January 2008, 156 new bed spaces were added when Cassety Hall was reopened as a residence hall.
In her recent State of the College address, President Muriel A. Howard noted, “The demand for on-campus student housing has continued to increase, which is consistent with national trends. This fall we had over 2,300 students living in college housing, a substantial increase over last year.” Resident students currently represent 28.4 percent of full-time students at Buffalo State.
To respond to this critical need for our students, in September 2008, a new not-for-profit corporation was formed with the sole purpose of creating the needed housing. Cannon Design was retained to complete a program study and develop architectural plans. Funding for the project will be sought through the bond market.
The complex will be constructed on the southwest side of the campus on the site of the current student parking Lot L, running along Grant Street. Lot L holds 439 parking spaces. Upon construction, Lot L will no longer be available, and students will be asked to use Lot M more often. Transportation from Lot M to the center of campus is provided through the NFTA circulators. The frequency of the circulators is being explored with NFTA. University Police will also increase patrols of the Lot M area.
The administration is aware of parking restraints on campus, and actions are taking place to address concerns. The recently enacted freshman and sophomore resident-student parking ban saves an estimated 475 spots. The parking spaces lost to the new residence halls will be offset by spaces gained from the student parking ban, resulting in a net gain of 36 spaces on campus. The college is exploring more ways to expand parking on campus.