UI housing plans include new facilities, modest rate increases
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The University of Iowa’s five-year plans for residence halls include investigating construction of a second new facility and increasing room and board rates by 3.5 percent for 2014-15—the lowest increase in the past six years.
The university’s plans and rate proposals were included in the residence system governance report presented at the March 12 meeting of the Iowa Board of Regents in Iowa City. The board will approve final rates at its April meeting.
Residence systems at the UI, Iowa State University, and the University of Northern Iowa are self-supporting and do not receive state funds. Rate increases account for costs of operations and capital improvements.
“We know that any additional costs can challenge students and families, so we operate our facilities as efficiently as possible and strive to keep rate increases low,” says Tom Rocklin, vice president for student life. “We want to provide the facilities and services students expect, but keep on-campus housing affordable.”
Recent overall UI room and board rate increases follow:
- 2009-10 4.20 percent
- 2010-11 3.88 percent
- 2011-12 4.96 percent
- 2012-13 3.74 percent
- 2013-14 3.66 percent
- 2014-15 3.50 percent
Under University Housing & Dining’s proposed scenario, the rate for a double room would increase $199 for the academic year, while the standard board plan would increase $100.
Rate increases for other room options range from 2.20-4.90 percent, or a $153 increase for a double room in Mayflower to a $388 increase for apartments in the UI-leased Centerstone and Campusview facilities.
Completion of a new West Campus Residence Hall is projected for May 2015. Designed around the concept of living-learning communities that connect students with common majors or interests, the facility will include about 501 beds.
The university plans to raze Quadrangle Hall—the site for a new Pharmacy Building—once the hall is completed. University Housing & Dining is studying the possibility of a second new building that will expand housing for undergraduates and reduce the need to lease off-campus facilities.
The university also has partnered with Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions to replace Hawkeye Court apartments, which primarily house graduate students. By privatizing construction and operation of the new apartments, the UI expects to save at least $30 million in construction costs.
University Housing & Dining manages 10 on-campus residence halls and four leased off-campus apartment facilities. More than 90 percent of first-year students live in the residence halls.