Wake Forest plans phased conversion of faculty/staff apartments
March 4, 2008
Wake Forest University will convert its Faculty/Staff Apartments complex into student residence halls in phases in 2008 and 2009, university administrators announced this week to apartment residents and the entire Reynolda Campus community.
The plan offers apartment residents the option of living there until late May 2009.
Originally, plans called for the 10-building apartment complex to be empty this summer and renovation to start immediately afterward on the complex’s 72 apartments. University officials announced this new schedule after meeting with residents in groups and individually. Officials also received advice from faculty leaders associated with the University Senate and the Wake Forest chapter of the American Association of University Professors.
Two choices are offered to apartment residents. Generally, one choice is to move from the apartments by May 25 or June 30, 2008. The other choice is to move by May 25, 2009. Those who remain past June of this year may be moved by the university into another building to allow for work to begin on their current building. A university-approved contractor will move those residents.
The university is providing assistance in a number of ways to those who move this spring and early summer. For instance, residents of buildings 6, 7 and 8 will need to move by May 25, 2008, because renovation will begin May 26. The university needs those particular buildings converted into student housing when students arrive for the fall semester.
Wake Forest will pay the full local moving expenses of those residents in buildings 6, 7 and 8 who move, using a university-approved contractor. The university will also provide them $3,000, including $500 they received recently.
Residents of buildings 6, 7 and 8 may choose to remain in the apartment complex until May 25, 2009, but they will be moved at university expense by a university-approved contractor to another building.
For residents of other buildings, who choose to move by June 30, 2008, the university will pay their full local moving expenses, using a university-approved contractor. The university will also provide them $2,500, including $500 they received recently.
Vice President of Student Life Kenneth A. Zick informed apartment residents of the revised schedule by e-mail and letter March 3. In his letter, he addressed points presented by residents and others in recent meetings.
"We have listened to your concerns about the move, about the original timetable proposed, and about the manner in which the original policy decision was communicated to you,” Zick wrote. “As a university, we want to meet those concerns in a generous and sensitive way.”
In a letter to faculty, staff and students, President Nathan O. Hatch explained generally the revised plan and the reasons behind the transition of the apartments into student residences.
"In recent weeks, there has been much discussion and concern regarding the future of Faculty/Staff Apartments. These apartments have historical significance to the University and are a part of our community that many have experienced as residents,” Hatch wrote.
Throughout last year and into 2008, Hatch explained, Wake Forest has been collecting and analyzing information to assist in making decisions about the university’s future. During that process, some of which focused on student housing and other student services space, it was determined that more housing for students was needed as soon as possible.
"We are now seriously over capacity in the residence halls and have been forced to use lounge space to house students,” Hatch wrote.
Hatch said the university needs more student residential space, in part, to meet the present demand and to accommodate potential growth in the college student population. The Wake Forest Board of Trustees last month authorized budgeting an increase of 80 additional students for fall 2008. More growth in the next decade is under discussion at Wake Forest.
Hatch explained that a recent study “confirmed that many of our older residence halls are in immediate need of updating.”
"Thus, we confirmed the need for additional space to house students while renovations are being done to the older residence halls,” Hatch wrote.
Hatch observed that the transition from faculty/staff housing to student housing is taking place at a time when occupancy patterns at the apartments have changed.
"Originally, many young faculty members chose to live there when they joined Wake Forest and remained for several years. Today, about twenty residents move into Faculty/Staff Apartments each year,” Hatch noted. “After the first year, about a third of them move out, and after the second year, another third move out. Certainly there are some residents who have lived there for longer periods, but there is much more mobility among the residents now than in earlier times.”