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New development to bring Auburn freshmen on campus

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New development to bring Auburn freshmen on campus

8/16/2006, 12:38 p.m. CT

The Associated Press

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn University officials hope a new housing development, which could open next fall, will draw 80 percent of the incoming class to university housing.

About 50 percent of freshmen live on campus now.

Student housing director Kim Trupp said Auburn does not require students to live on campus because it doesn't have room.

The university has 22 residence halls and one apartment complex to accommodate about 2,800 students. The freshman class has been more than 4,000 students for the past two years.

"We need more on-campus housing, primarily for freshmen," John Mouton, senior adviser to the president, said.

University officials believe Auburn is at a recruiting disadvantage because limited campus housing forces students to live off campus.

"I have no doubt it has to do with a student's decision to come to Auburn," Trupp said.

As enrollment increased through the years, she said the number of beds dropped.

"We turn away thousands every year," she said. :blink:

Auburn hopes to get students back on campus with living and learning communities in the new development.

Mouton said such communities are becoming common at universities across the country.

The concept has 20 to 25 students with similar academic interests taking some of the same classes and living in the same residence hall.

Mouton said other universities have found the communities help freshmen be more successful and increase retention rates.

The College of Liberal Arts and the College of Sciences and Mathematics are piloting such communities in a hall on the Quad this fall.

If the test goes well, Trupp said Auburn could see more of them throughout the other halls.

Mouton and Trupp are optimistic the premise will increase the number of freshmen on campus. The current plan is to build multiple buildings, enough to house an additional 1,200 beds, on the west side of campus.

Mouton said the site will be confirmed by the Board of Trustees at its Sept. 1 meeting, Mouton said.

The buildings will not be taller than four stories, but will be consistent with the university's architecture. The plan is for "super suite" rooms with most having four beds, two baths and a common area with kitchen amenities. Some will have two beds and one bath. The buildings will have classroom space to be used for tutors or speakers.

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