The University of Wyoming hopes to have at least two new residence halls built or under construction on its Laramie campus by 2022.
The Casper Tribune reports that the university's board of trustees has approved spending $300,000 to have KSQ Design develop a 10-year housing plan that will lead to new student living spaces.
The university houses 2,100 students in seven residence halls, but hasn't built a residence hall since 1967.
In previous studies of its facilities, Wyoming found that its residence halls did not meet students’ expectations.
Eric Webb, executive director of residence life, says campus housing “is structurally sound, it’s clean, it’s very well maintained, but it’s just very basic. We don’t have the amenities, we don’t have the common space, we don’t have air conditioning.”
Webb anticipates that new housing would have more community and academic space.
The push for more appealing student housing is part of an effort by University President Laurie Nichols to recruit and retain more students at the state’s only public four-year institution. By 2022, Wyoming hopes to have 13,500 students—an increase of more than 1,100.
From a residence hall standpoint, Webb says there’s been available space for at least 30 years. Often, lack of demand has forced the university to leave one of its residence halls empty for an entire year.