Crews work hard to finish LSU housing before fall semester
BATON ROUGE – There's a constant buzz surrounding LSU. It’s not coming from students, but construction workers. Crews are working hard in the heat. They're on a deadline.
“The vast majority of first year students will be on campus,” said Catherine David, the Associate Director of Communications and Development at LSU Residential Life.
Come August, what's looking to be the school's largest freshman class yet, will need a place to stay. This will be the first year they're expected to stay on campus in nearly a decade.
“First year students who live on campus have higher GPA's, graduation rates, and retention rates than their off-campus peers,” said David.
There are other benefits, too.
"Everything is such a short walk, walking to class. You can wake up 5 minutes before and brush your teeth and run down,” said LSU senior Andrew LeBlanc.
But in the past, only about 65 percent of freshmen lived in dorms.
"I felt like there would be more freedom if I chose an apartment,” said LSU senior Kevin McCabe.
For some, it was a choice. For others, David says it was the only option.
"We just didn't have enough bed space to accommodate first year students and upper classmen."
This year will be different; 1,500 new rooms are being built at Nicholson Gateway Apartments across from Tiger Stadium.
"Students are going to have a great view from the jumbotron from their lounges on the sixth floor,” said David.
The complex will house upper classmen. On the west side of campus, Spruce Hall will be opening up this fall for freshmen. Cedar Hall will open in 2019 right next door.
"With the construction this summer we will have enough beds to accommodate our first year students, as well as our upper classmen who want to stay on campus,” said David.
It's all on schedule to be finished in time.
Students who live within 50 miles of LSU, military veterans, students with children or spouses, living with parents, or those over 21 will be exempt from the new residency rule.