On-campus housing not in UVU’s plans

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Tiffany Frandsen | Deputy Managing Editor | @tiffany_mf


One of the campaign initiatives that Team One is running with is a push for on-campus housing. Since UVU is landlocked, on-campus housing options are limited to making space on the existing campus, building on the @Geneva property, or buying an adjacent housing complex. Team One’s plan is to either move the track field over to the @Geneva property to make room for dorms or to replace one of the water fountains (between the Hall of Flags and I-15) with dorms.

“Housing needs to be option number one right now. When that time comes, if we don’t have the housing, they will have nowhere else to go, they will have to go somewhere else, because there is literally no floor to put them in, no bed for them to sleep in,” said Phil Varney, executive vice president candidate for Team One.

Projections done by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget in the Strategic Plan for Managing Growth estimate (based on mean and average growth) that UVU will have 38,350 (full- and part- time) students in 2020, up from its current 26,821.

No updated master plan for what to use the @Geneva property for has been approved by the Board of Regents as of yet.

Portions of the @Geneva land that isn’t owned by UVU is being used for three new apartment complexes, the Concord Apartments, Edgewater Townhomes and The Alloy, which will create 1,000 new units.

Matt Chambers, program director of housing and residence life, said UVU isn’t looking at on-campus housing options right now.

“One, we have looked at the market and want to support the local housing market, so we do that by students living in off-campus housing. Second, it’s extremely costly, which is usually the biggest issue that comes up. Third is liability,” said Chambers.

On-campus housing comes with a slew of extra costs: the building itself, an expanded UVUPD to patrol, grounds crew, administrative staffing, maintenance, an additional position in the Student Conduct Office, and an additional position in the existing housing department.

Because of the new housing developments being built in Vineyard and throughout Orem, more housing isn’t needed, so the university has placed higher priority on other buildings that the community couldn’t provide, such as the Classroom Building and the new Fine Arts Building.

The current master plan for UVU, in anticipation of the population boom, includes five new buildings (six, with the new Classroom Building) – the Fine Arts building, an expansion on the Woodbury Business Building, two more classroom buildings, and a replacement of the Extended Education Building. The master plan also includes new parking structures.