Some freshmen attending Virginia Commonwealth University this semester may have to move temporarily into rooms intended to serve as commons-area lounges as students arrive on campus this weekend.
With a growing demand for on-campus housing, the Gladding Residence Center, a 12-story building that opened last year, had already filled its 1,518 intended beds when additional housing applications came in after the deadline.
As of Thursday afternoon, eight students were assigned to temporary spaces at the school’s newest dorm, most of whom had submitted their applications within the last three weeks, according to Mike Porter, VCU associate vice president for public affairs.
All of the students placed in temporary living arrangements were made aware of the situation before being assigned and will be given priority for moves to more permanent living arrangements as beds open up related to no-shows or people leaving campus, Porter said.
Gladding Residence Center, which cost $96 million to build, includes traditional double bedrooms and four-person suites and is divided into six “neighborhoods” with shared kitchens, laundry facilities, study areas and the lounges that may serve as temporary dorms.
There is space for up to 22 students in the lounges, which are either the same size or larger than the dorms and will be equipped with standard dorm furniture, Porter said. There’s also additional capacity for up to 16 students to live with resident advisers.
VCU and other universities commonly create temporary housing situations when more students arrive for the first day than there are permanent beds.
Virginia Tech announced it would be using two hotels as residence halls after the school over-enrolled by at least 1,000 students.
“It is the best management function of providing beds for students who want to live on-campus,” Porter said. “We make every effort to accommodate as many students who want to live on campus as we can knowing that there is more interest than availability.”
The students placed in temporary housing will still pay the standard $6,555 per academic year on-campus housing cost.
With the demand for housing growing, VCU leadership has included additional student housing in its master plan, which also calls from more parking, green spaces and a science, technology, engineering and math teaching facility.
“We know that there is a positive correlation between living on campus and student success,” Porter said. “Living on campus acclimates the student to campus life and living with peers and provides easier access to university services and programming.”