When most people envision a dorm room, they think of a cave-like space barely big enough to fit a TV, a closet and maybe a mini-refrigerator.
But that’s changing as universities are catering to students who want movie theaters, tanning beds, fitness centers and, most importantly, private bathrooms.
Over the past few years, schools and private developers across the nation have poured millions into state-of-the-art dorms after recognizing that today’s generation of students will pass up 8- by 10-foot rooms and apartments without washing machines.
For example, one private company — Landmark Properties — has units serving college students from the Southeast to Texas. They include the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa; numerous properties at the University of Georgia in Athens and North Carolina State University in Raleigh, among others.
And universities are also offering improved living quarters on-campus.
Last September, the University of Michigan opened the North Quadrangle Residential and Academic Complex, called North Quad by students and faculty. The $175 million state-of-the-art building includes 450 residential rooms, classrooms with video teleconferencing capabilities, study lounges with smart boards and flat-screen TVs in nearly every hallway that show upcoming events.
In July, the National Association of College and University Food Services awarded the dining hall its gold status for the facility’s food presentation and menu, which includes salmon fillet, tortellini with a walnut pesto sauce, lamb and even shark. For students who want a typical college meal, there’s a pizza station and soft-serve ice cream.
Turns out college students liked the premier dining. The cafeteria was built to cater to 500 residents and staff, but more than 1,000 students from all corners of campus showed up for lunch daily throughout the last academic year, said Housing Director Linda Newman.
Freshmen aren’t allowed to apply to live in the dorm, which is the first new residence hall to open in 40 years and one of the few on campus with wi-fi access and central air conditioning. The dorm also has suite-style living arrangements intended to mimic apartment layouts.
Dan Dueweke, a University of Michigan junior studying psychology, recently moved into his two-room suite with a bathroom and wood floors. It’s his second year living in North Quad, which Dueweke says is far superior from Baits II — the dorm he lived in his freshman year. Built in the late ’60s, the building is now “breaking down” and has a lingering “musty smell,” Dueweke says .
“Here, there’s still the new smell,” Deuweke said, gesturing to his suite’s freshly painted mustard yellow walls. “Everything is new and big and different from living in a normal stereotypical dorm.”
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Article courtesy cnn.com
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