Campus Apartments recently began a $2 million renovation of the Brown and Munson campus apartments, and are continuing improvements in Cornell Courts and Westview.
The project will install 727 new windows in the Brown/Munson apartments over the course of the school year with a tentative end date in March 2010. The new windows would be more energy efficient and cut costs for heating.
Lewis Savage, Asst. Director of University Housing Apartments, said the money the university would save in energy costs outweighs the initial budget for the windows.
“We’re trying to go back and upgrade all of our facilities,” said Savage. “The intent is to have the facilities the best as possible while students can still afford it.”
Other current improvements include renovating Cornell Courts, a $100,000 a year project over nine years, and adding new siding and roofing to Westview apartments.
“Doing the roofs picks the place up with the color,” said Evelynn Hawkins, Westview resident and WEMU evening announcer. “It really does something for the curb appeal.”
Most improvements to campus apartments and housing (Wise Hall is scheduled to receive new windows next year) will be completed over an extended period of time.
“I think that you’d like to get everything done at one time, but it’s a process,” said David Jaworski, Coordinator of Construction Projects for the Physical Plant.
Occupancy for campus apartments has also gone up. At present, occupancy has gone from 381 to 395 and they can still be leased. This is the fourth consecutive year of rising occupancy in the apartments.
Savage believes the increase in occupancy is due to the projects campus apartments is supporting. Residents may now use financial aid for some apartments, and Savage reports nearly $128,000 has already been signed over in financial aid.
Higher tenant satisfaction may also be contributing to the increase in occupancy.
“The folks that are living with us are having good satisfaction, and they’re telling their friends,” Savage said.