OUR VIEWS Consensus Opinion
It seems as if Tech has finally made a move toward rectifying escalating problems with student housing that have accompanied increasing enrollment. As of July 1, Tech will be the new owner of what is now the Georgia State University Village.
After years of the Institute saying that it was not interested in the property, the four residence halls will be filled with Tech students next year as the campus expands further across North Avenue. The transfer deal is a win-win for both schools. Georgia State University has been trying to sell the property for some time and Tech's acquisition will allow Georgia State to expand housing options closer to its campus.
The deal will also potentially free up much needed land on the interior of Tech's campus as older dorms become no longer needed. Already Housing has announced that Perry, Matheson, Hanson, Hopkins and Field Halls will not be used after this summer and that ultimately the halls and land will be given back to the Institute.
All of this is possible because the Village, which is tentatively renamed the North Avenue Apartments (NAA), will give Housing 2,000 additional beds. Although the Institute only aims to fill half of those beds in the fall semester, the acquisition will allow for future growth in enrollment without forcing students to live off campus. The most noticeable benefit for many students in the fall will be the lack of the infamous "triples" and flex housing. Not only that, but all seniors and juniors, as well as most sophomores, will be able to live in on-campus apartments if they so choose, and returning students are guaranteed to be able to live with their friends. This is great news for students, and the measure will improve overall quality of student life at Tech.
Housing wisely extended the Fall 2007 application deadline so that students could request NAA, however a longer extension would have been preferable, as it would give students more time to actually hear about the new housing and evaluate their choices. Students off campus should have received an email about the change and opportunity as well as current Housing residents as some may want to return now that more apartments will be available.
This new addition will affect many aspects of campus besides Housing and there is no doubt that it will cause changes in many departments. Though the addition of NAA may pose organizational problems for the Stinger service, the Georgia Tech Police Department and other campus services, we are confident that even if the transition is bumpy that in the long run Tech students will benefit from the new housing option.