With enrollment surging in recent years, the University of Indianapolis finds itself needing new dorm space.
The private college on the south side of Indianapolis announced Monday that it will build a 200-student hall on the south edge of its campus, which is located at South Shelby and East Hanna streets.
Construction is scheduled to begin in May, with the hall opening in August 2012.
The project is estimated to cost $10 million, according to Indianapolis-based Wilhelm Construction Co., which UIndy has hired to build it. University spokesman Scott Hall said he could not provide a cost estimate because design work has yet to be finished and because extra costs, such as moving a parking lot to make room for the new structure, have not yet been determined.
What is clear is the need for new residential space. When UIndy opened its newest residence hall in 2009, the rooms were snapped up within “a few hours,” Hall said. UIndy currently has residential space for 1,380 students.
The school has more than 3,000 undergraduates, and a total of more than 5,200 students.
Since 2005, UIndy’s enrollment has grown by nearly 900 students. Many colleges and universities saw enrollment surge after the recession that started in December 2007, as both young people and working adults looked to higher education to qualify them for new jobs.
UIndy’s newest residence hall, like the one opened in 2009, will be for upperclassmen, offering private or semi-private rooms. Before these buildings, there were very few on-campus living spaces for them, and most upperclassmen found apartments off campus.
For years, UIndy has been trying to shed the image of its former commuter-school status, not only by building dorms, but also by renovating its student center, dining room and recreational center.
“We think that makes for a better educational and social experience for our students,” Hall said.