The Central Campus apartments at Duke University in Durham, N.C., are likely to close for good in summer 2019 as the school shifts most of its undergraduate housing to Duke's West Campus.
The Raleigh News & Observer reports that closing the apartments is contingent only upon a new, 506-bed residence hall opening on schedule. That project, The Hollows, is already under construction and is supposed to be ready by July 2019.
The Hollows will supply only about half the beds needed to replace the Central Campus apartments, which date from the 1970s. For now, Duke has secured the rest of the housing capacity it will need by acquiring an off-campus apartment complex for $50 million.
The university plans to use the off-campus housing as swing-space housing for undergraduates displaced by renovations to other student housing, the Craven and Crowell quads.
But the university does not consider the apartment complex it purchased as a long-term solution for undergraduate housing, it is looking at construction of another 500-bed residence hall somewhere else on campus.
“It’s not the idea of how to do it, it’s the question of how and when do we fund it,” says Steve Nowicki, dean of undergraduate education. “The current construction and renovations are hundreds of millions of dollars. There might be some reluctance on the trustees’ part to say, ‘What the hell, let’s do another couple hundred million,’ without thinking it through.”