Housing changes to take place in 2015

(Graphic by Brett Ferrin)
(Graphic by Brett Ferrin)

Housing is a hot topic for students, especially when it comes to the cost. Many students want to have the “full” college experience without breaking the bank.

At the same time, however, it’s important that students are provided with a decent place to live.

Next year there will be some changes made at both Wildcat Village and University Village. According to Brett Perozzi, associate vice president of student affairs, changes like these are made every year to ensure living spaces for students are kept in good shape.

Weber State University makes the decisions on what needs to be changed based on supply and demand, as well as what other schools do for their students. The demand is high with University Village because more students end up living there instead of the other dorms, therefore there are generally greater increases on the price there, according to Perozzi.

Prices will increase by 3 percent for University Village next semester, and single rooms, also in high demand, will increase 5 percent. All other rooms on campus will be increasing prices by only 1 percent, according to Perozzi.

When living in the dorms, students often purchase meal plans. These won’t be changing a lot, but will slightly increase in price as the dorms do.

“The difference is the dining supplier, Sodexo, has built their budgets on the residential facilities,” Perozzi said. “There are about 500 beds, and because we are low on occupancy at about 350, Sodexo has to increase rates a little bit.”

The meal plans will increase prices about 3 percent.

Upgrades taking place in the dorms include extensive maintenance, such as deep cleaning, removing scuff marks, painting and carpet replacement. Because Wildcat Village is very new not many changes will need to take place.

University Village will requires a bit more work since it’s older.

Some of these changes take place every year, but things like new cupboards, counter tops, air conditioners and hot water heaters need to be taken care of at present.

“We just spent well over $100,000 to fix the roofs at University Village,” Perozzi said. Along with that, heat tape had to be placed on the roof to help with snow.

“It takes a lot to repair things on commercial facilities,” said Perozzi.

According to Perozzi, replacing stairs and railings will be important this year, similar to the landscaping changes that were made to help with water runoff during the winter, eliminating many hazards.

When it comes to students and their reaction to changes, Perozzi is hopeful they will have a good reaction.

“When you are in an area where people live it’s a lot different than where they go to class or work. So I think that students know there is lot of care being provided when these repairs are going on,” Perozzi said.

As far as housing prices go, Perozzi believes it’s hard to determine how students will react.

“I think students never necessarily want to see prices go up, but yet when you talk with them about what the needs are, and the relatively low rate of increases, students are usually OK with it,” Perozzi said.

When these changes are proposed to the Board of Trustees, Perozzi thinks that students will ask how the predictions for the prices came through, and whether or not the changes with be worth the price change.

“I think what it comes down to is providing great experiences for students,” Perozzi said. “We want them to pay a fair price and feel good about what they pay.”