Fisk University, a historically Black college in Nashville, Tenn., plans to construct shipping-container-style student housing in time for the fall 2023 semester.
The Nashville Tennessean reports that university officials hope the innovative student residences will relieve pressure on the school's traditional residence halls and provide affordable on-campus housing in an expensive renters' market.
The units will feature blue-and-yellow painted exteriors, kitchenettes and private bathrooms with walk-in showers.
As Fisk awaits construction of a new 300-bed, $20 million traditional residence hall, the shipping-container units will satisfy an immediate need for student housing.
The university will acquire 24 shipping containers sent from a warehouse in Missouri to be installed on the campus. They will house 98 students. The project will cost about $4 million. Fisk officials believe the university may be the first in the nation to experiment with shipping containers as a student housing solution. In recent years, the containers have become a low-cost, prefabricated option for a growing number of housing units and businesses
Fisk needs more housing to address a rapid increase in enrollment. In 2017, there were 630 students. This fall, the school exceeded 1,050 students, including a class of just under 400 freshmen. About 800 students live on campus.
If the project is successful, Fisk officials may order additional shipping containers for housing. Jens Frederiksen, Fisk's executive vice president, says the plan has received positive feedback from the student body.
The shipping containers used in the project will be containers that have made only one trip across the ocean. The steel structures are designed to withstand years of wear and tear. When the local site is ready with electrical, water and sewer hookups, the containers will be shipped for installation.