LSU aims to bring students back to campus with new housing

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - LSU could be upgrading the attitudes students have about Nicholson Dr.

Alums may remember those ugly married student housing units that are now gone. A new development at that location is aimed at getting students excited about living near campus.

Currently, out of the 30,000 students at LSU, only 6,000 live on campus. "We have about 1,200 beds on campus for upper class housing. Those fill up in about the first ten minutes for contract renewal," says Steve Waller, assistant vice president for Residential Life and Housing.

New construction of the Nicholson Gateway Development on the northern part of the campus, from West Chimes St. to Skip Bertman Dr., will double the housing options.

Waller said the demand for more beds is clear and growing, adding that the development will create a "mixture of upperclassman and graduate housing, basically creating 1,500 beds."

One commuter student, Sean Thomas, said he was forced to live off campus because the school didn't have many options for housing on campus. Waller adds that because commuters face parking and heavy traffic daily, he's sure this new development will bring students back to campus. "You don't have to worry about driving to class or find a place to park to get on campus, you can basically get up and walk across the street."

Thomas said that if given the opportunity to live on campus, he'd jump at the chance. "I would definitely look forward or look at the opportunity to stay on campus, especially at the right price."

Although a final rental price hasn't been set, we're told the seven residential units will be fully furnished with utilities included in the rent, as well as a parking garage and retail stores right next door.

But Waller adds that the new development is also about transforming a campus entrance so visitors immediately know when they enter Tiger territory. "The housing will frame that along with the new athletic facilities. When you go through the north gate, you'll know you're on campus and not just on a road south going through Louisiana."

The new facility is set to open for the Fall 2018 semester.

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