College of St. Joseph has acquired Highland Meadows Apartments to utilize as additional dormitory space for students. The apartment complex, which is less than a mile from the main campus on Campbell Road, will add more than 100 beds for students in the coming years.
The two-building, 32-unit facility was funded through the USDA Rural Development Loan program.
“CSJ has enjoyed a period of growth in its academic and athletic programs over the past four years, as well as in other popular programs, such as the Provider Scholarship,” CSJ President Lawrence Jensen said. “This has put a great deal of demand on our dorm space, and we can now meet that demand and continue to grow.”
CSJ has explored options for adding additional living space for students for several years as the College has experienced significant growth in its residential undergraduate population. In recent years the College has utilized overflow housing in apartments and local hotels to serve some students.
“USDA Rural Development is committed to increasing economic opportunity and improving the quality of life for rural communities. Ensuring that our higher education facilities have the ability to provide housing to meet the demands of increased enrollment is critical for economic development in Vermont,” said Acting USDA State Director Jon-Michael Muise. “We are proud to invest in the College of St Joseph as it grows and expands its ability to provide a quality education, and place to call home for their students.”
Jensen said that the purchase of the buildings was a cost-effective solution to meet the needs of residential students.
“Thanks to the USDA Rural Development Loan program, we were able to find and finance an attractive solution to our housing crunch,” Jensen said. “It has been a pleasure to work with the USDA and position the College for its anticipated future growth in enrollment.”
The College will begin to free up space for student use as leases expire through attrition. Current tenants of the building have been notified of the change in ownership.
“It’s always important that the College is a good member of our community. We will work with current tenants to find mutually beneficial solutions as we transition to student use. We expect that we will have a mix of students and renters from our community for some time,” Jensen said.
CSJ will place upperclassmen in the new dormitory space. The buildings are within walking distance of the other buildings on campus, and the College will provide a shuttle service for students. Additionally, the college will add additional residence life and public safety staff to monitor the buildings.