ROCHESTER (WWJ) – An exciting day on the campus of Oakland University Tuesday as ground was officially broken, paving the way for new student housing of about 500 units.

Mary Beth Snyder is Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment. Snyder points-out security will be a key feature.

Plans for the new student housing on OU campus.

Plans for the new student housing on OU campus.

“We’re going to have cameras on all the entrances. It’s designed on the interior so that
what we call our night watch staff can check and see everyone who’s coming in,” said Snyder. “And, as they come in the lobby, they can be checked with their guests. And, they can’t get into any of the corridors or the elevators without a security key.”

OU President Gary Russe told WWJ that this is Phase One of putting five thousand students on campus.

Russe is already looking ahead toward Phase Two: “The next phase will include four different facilities on top of this one, and about the same size – about 540 apartments in each one of them,” said Russe. “It’ll take us several years to get there but it will be fun to do that.”

OU chairman Michael Kramer told WWJ that it’s taken a while to get this point.

“We were asked to do this several years ago, and we went through the whole process of trying to determine whether this should be privately built, and then we came to grips with the fact that it would probably be less expensive both for us and the kids to do it through our own bonding,” Kramer said.

The current housing project is $30 million and holds a Double A bond rating, so Kramer doesn’t foresee any problems but he does anticipate that this and other projects will help Oakland University’s image.

“We want to make this no longer just a commuter school but a school that the kids can be here – enjoy all the amenities,” Kramer added.

The new building will open in Fall of 2014 and will also feature areas for students to study and hold meetings. There’ll be informal dining space and a small convenience store.

Rather than the four-person apartments, there’ll only be two students per room. The cost for student-residents will run about $8,700 per year.


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