New residence hall only beginning of housing expansion

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Construction of the new residence hall, located between three existing residence halls and the Fain Fine Arts building. The new hall is scheduled to open in 2016 and is substantially on schedule with electricity scheduled to be turned on during the winter break.

Construction of the new residence hall, located between three existing residence halls and the Fain Fine Arts building. The new hall is scheduled to open in 2016 and is substantially on schedule with electricity scheduled to be turned on during the winter break.

As part of an effort to provide on-campus housing for an increasing number of residential students, a new residence hall is under construction for next fall but remains slightly behind schedule.

Angie Reay, interim director of residence life, said, “The residence hall that is under construction is definitely going to help for the present. It will provide more on-campus housing, with 450 beds, which is what we want.”

Having 450 beds available will allow students to have the option of living on campus.

Keith Lamb, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, said, “Most of our students are coming from DFW and increasing, which is why most of our residential halls are just going crazy now. If you look overall, I think it’s 72 or 73 percent of our students are not from Wichita Falls, so it’s really become this residential campus.”

MSU is becoming more and more of a residential campus with the increase of students living on campus.

Reay said, “Our aim is to have more students living on campus. The college experience is much more rewarding when living in the heart of campus and provides better opportunities for students to engage with campus activities.”

The residence hall is set to open in August 2016, but is about three weeks behind schedule.

Kyle Owen, associate vice president facility services, said, “While you always hope the construction is further along than it should be, the due date of August 2016 is still doable.”

The construction is part of a five-year plan for facilities at MSU that also includes another residence hall depending on demand for on-campus housing.

Owen said, “We hope that it fills up and creates a backlog. We plan to build another one in five years, depending on enrollment  rates and housing needs in the future.”

Owen added, our only fear is that we build another $30 million building and no one moves into it.

However, the current construction is only part of the recent changes in housing.

Reay said, “I have been at MSU since 2004 and have seen huge improvements in our residential facilities. All our housing facilities have been renovated since opening, except Sundance, which only opened in 2009. We are due for another housing facility.”

Aside from residential facilities being built, there are also plans to improve academic facilities, such as a new College of Health Sciences and Human Services building and another expansion to McCoy Engineering. Football coaches’ offices moved to the West Campus Annex this past summer and the Sunwatcher Plaza/Mustangs Walk opened this fall.