University breaks ground on student housing project
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University breaks ground on student housing project

University breaks ground on student housing project

The Shippensburg News-Chronicle
New plans will change campus landscape

Staff Writer
Published: Monday, November 21, 2011 3:57 PM EST

On a blustery Friday afternoon, representatives from Shippensburg University and Campus Apartments gathered to break ground on the first phase of a project that will upgrade the university’s on-campus housing.

“I am confident that our new live-learn facilities will appeal to the needs of our students and ensure that the University exceeds expectations for decades to come,” said President Bill Ruud. “The project may be the largest single growth at the University.”

The three-phase project, estimated to cost $200 million, is slated for completion by Summer 2015.

“It is the biggest investment the University has ever seen,” said B. Michael Schaul, Chair, Council of Trustees. “It is all about those that came before and those to come after us.”

For over two years, Shippensburg University Student Services, Inc. (SUSSI), a non-profit organization that serves as the voice for the student community, has worked with Campus Apartments to design, develop and finance the project to improve the quality of on-campus housing at the university.

According to Dan Bernstein, Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of Campus Apartments, the updated student housing will transform the University’s landscape.

“It is not often that we get to work on such a transformative project,” he said.

Bernstein described Shippensburg University as the “most organized, disciplined and committed partner we have ever worked with.”

The first phase, a $70 million project, will build three facilities, accommodate 924 student residents and include multipurpose programming areas, wellness center and a new home for the University’s Honors Program. It is slated to open in January 2013.

The need for improved on-campus housing came from survey responses of prospective students and parents. According to Roger Serr, Vice President of Student Affairs, modern and up-to-date housing played an important role in determining whether or not students decide to attend a particular university.

“This puts us on another level,” said Darrell Miller, SUSSI President. “It continues the University’s tradition of excellence…and drive to serve students in any way.”

Comfort Dixon, Student Association President, said, the project “shows the University’s depth of care for the wellbeing of students.”

In sum, the project will allow the University to better “serve students in the curricular and co-curricular realm,” said Serr.

“It is for, of and about students,” said Ruud.