New On-Campus Housing Provides More Options for Students

Published 08.14.2003

Student News

Pennsylvania College of Technology students seeking on-campus housing now have a fourth option from which to choose Rose Street Apartments.

Steady enrollment growth in recent years has increased the demand for on-campus housing, and that need has been addressed with the opening of the 370-bed facility on the west end of the main campus in Williamsport.

The completion of the $11.9 million project brings the total number of beds available on the main campus to more than 1,400. Murray Associates Architects of Harrisburg designed the facility, which features two four-story buildings providing 130,000 square feet of space.

"With the opening of this facility, we are better able to address the continuing demand for on-campus housing," said Penn College President Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour. "Many students and parents tell us that College-owned-and-operated housing represents the best choice for them. With the enrollment growth we have experienced particularly from outside our Northcentral Pennsylvania core recruiting area quality housing has become a vital consideration, whether it is offered by us or the many local landlords upon whom the College depends."

"Students started to express interest in living in the new complex as early as last fall when the ground was just being broken," added Timothy J. Mallery, director of residence life. "Rose Street Apartments was the most-requested complex among incoming freshmen who heard about the plans for the complex during their fall visits to campus. I don't think they will be disappointed when they see how nice the buildings have turned out."

"It is very exciting to be moving into Rose Street," said John A. Connelly, a Building Automation Technology bachelor-degree major from Waldorf, Md., who is a Resident Assistant at the new facility. "The apartments are very spacious and well-designed. The contractors and Residence Life having been working very hard to get Rose Street prepared for the students. There is a great staff of RAs and a wonderful coordinator who will make everyone feel very comfortable moving here. I've been living in Campus View (another on-campus facility) for the past three years, so this is a big change for me. But as I see it and as I believe everyone else will the change is good, the buildings and staff are great, and Rose Street will be a great addition."

Lobar Inc. of Dillsburg was the general contractor for the Rose Street Apartments project. Other contractors were: W.G. Tomko & Sons Inc. of Hummels Wharf, plumbing; Billtown Mechanical Corp. of South Williamsport, HVAC; S.R.S. Electric of Finleyville, electrical; and Johnson Controls of Camp Hill, control systems. Construction began last September.

The land upon which Rose Street Apartments is situated was purchased from two private owners. A portion of the property was included in the $7.65 million purchase of the College West student-housing complex from HFL Corp. of State College in June 2000. Another portion of the land was purchased from Garlock Inc. of Ohio (formerly Lubrikup Co. Inc.) for $354,600 in December 2000.

The project is being financed by a 30-year, $31.5 million bond issue that also covers renovations to College Avenue Labs (the former HON Industries Inc. manufacturing facility) and the circa-1913 Klump Academic Center (the former Williamsport High School), as well as the retrofitting of several other buildings on campus for instructional uses.

The two brick-and-stucco buildings at Rose Street feature two-bedroom (four-person) apartments, one-bedroom (two-person) apartments, efficiency-style (two-person) apartments and two-bedroom (four-person) super-suites with extra-large living areas. The 370 beds include eight for Resident Assistants (students who receive leadership training). Not included among the 370 is a bed for a professional staff member, who will live on-site.

Each apartment includes a bed, wardrobe, desk and chair for each student; a kitchen with refrigerator, sink, microwave oven and abundant cabinet space; a living/study area with sofa, coffee table, end/TV table, upholstered armchairs and dining table and chairs; a private bathroom with shower and mirrored vanity; and central air conditioning. Three common-area kitchens (with stoves) are located within the complex.

Housing rates at Rose Street Apartments for 2003-04 are: one-bedroom units (two students), $2,000 per semester; two-bedroom super-suites (four students), $2,000 per semester; two-bedroom units, (four students), $1,843 per semester; and efficiency units (two students), $1,743 per semester.

Housing rates include all utilities, basic cable TV service, basic local phone service, voice mail, garbage removal, building and grounds maintenance and Internet access through the campus computer network.

All four of the Penn College student-housing complexes feature gated resident check-in facilities. A Penn College Police officer is stationed at each facility overnight, and all guests must register after hours. To accommodate studying, designated "quiet hours" are enforced.

Other special features of all Penn College student-housing facilities include: full-time supervision by a professional staff member living on-site, a full staff of Resident Assistants, resident-only parking (permits required), private laundry facilities, an enforced alcohol- and drug-free environment and a variety of safety efforts, including smoke detectors, planned fire drills and inspections. The units at Rose Street Apartments have sprinkler systems, as well.

Penn College began offering on-campus housing for the first time in 1997, when the Village at Penn College opened its doors. The 320-bed complex on West Third Street was constructed by the College.

Later in 1997, the College purchased Campus View Apartments from a private owner and began renovating the facility before it opened for students in the fall. The College also purchased College West Apartments from a private owner in 2000, and the renovated facility opened later that year.

Capacities at the four student-housing facilities are: The Village at Penn College, 316; Campus View Apartments, 332; College West Apartments, 414; and Rose Street Apartments, 370.

Half of all Penn College students who live on-campus responded to a survey recently asking them about their living environment. Of these students, 97 percent felt safe and secure in their complex, 94 percent said their building was sufficiently quiet for them to study or sleep, and 92 percent said their Resident Assistant was effective in dealing with enforcement of the Residence Life rules and regulations.