Northeast Community College to look at options in addressing new student housing

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NORFOLK – The Northeast Community College Board of Governors has authorized college administration to look at options to address possible new student housing on campus. Over 350 students currently live on-campus in the College’s residence halls and apartments, but each year, hundreds of students who would like to live on-campus, put their names on a waiting list, just hoping for a vacancy.

Thursday, the Board approved a motion granting Dr. Michael Chipps, president of the college, the authority to negotiate a public/private partnership agreement for a new student housing complex that would be located on Northeast Community College’s Norfolk campus.

“This is a good investment on behalf of our future students and for our service area,“ Chipps said.  “Ideally, we want a ‘turnkey’ facility, where the land is provided and a private developer within our 20 county service area would secure the financing, architect, and contractor to work with the college to design and build a 21st Century student friendly facility.  We have identified potential partners to help us address additional housing on-campus. It is a matter the public has asked us to look into for nearly a decade and now is the right time for us to make this concept a reality.”

Chipps said the entire college community and the communities at large understand the importance of student housing.  “Campus housing is part of the college cultural experience and integral to educating our students. That is why our residence halls have been at maximum capacity for a number of years. The fact we also have waiting lists with the names of hundreds of students every year tells us there is a serious need for additional space. ” This fall alone, the waiting list had the names of over 700 students. The figure reflects the number of students who filled out an application for housing and placed an application fee.

It isn’t just traditional undergraduate students seeking on-campus housing. Northeast Community College has seen its international student population increase over the past several years. Chipps said these students desire the opportunity to live on-campus, as well.  International students often have major hurdles to overcome when coming to America and especially in the area of transportation to and from the college.

Additional student housing should have a positive impact on enrollments at the college. “Enrollment management is the first of our eight institutional priorities at Northeast,” Chipps said. “If we are to meet our goal of growing our enrollments, increased campus student housing is essential. Additional housing opportunities will bring new students to campus; and national studies also suggest that on-campus students are retained at a higher level,” he said.

Northeast presently operates two on-campus residence halls, Simon and Burkhardt Halls, and two student apartment complexes.

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