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WATCH | NPC to relocate maintenance facilities for student housing

by Courtney Edwards | May 8, 2023 at 4:05 a.m.
Kelli Embry, right, discusses the plan to bring more housing on campus with the National Park College Board of Trustees. – Photo by Courtney Edwards of The Sentinel-Record

The National Park College Board of Trustees last month approved the relocation of the maintenance facilities, which will be replaced by additional on-campus housing.

The housing expansion project, the first in phase one of the campus master plan, suggested multiple potential sites for the new housing, but the location currently hosting the maintenance facilities was chosen due to its proximity to the college's already existing student housing, said Kelli Embry, NPC vice president for administration.

"Selecting the current maintenance location provides us with the most economical solution for housing," Embry said. "This location was selected due to its proximity to the existing housing, which provides an opportunity for shared amenities and services."

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The college's demand for on-campus housing has outpaced the availability for two years now, she said, with Dogwood Hall already 80% preleased for the fall 2023 semester, compared to 53% from the year before.

In the fall 2021 semester, NPC increased the bed count in Dogwood Hall from 180 to 210, then to 240 in 2022, still with a waitlist of nearly 100, Embry told the board.

"Building an adjacent facility with 166 beds or so provides desperately needed affordable on-campus housing for students and allows the college to scale Dogwood back to the original 180 beds it was built to accommodate," she said.

The resolution to relocate the maintenance facilities will not exceed $1.5 million and will be paid with operating funds, Embry said.

John McMorran, vice president of Lewis Architects and Engineers, presented renderings of the proposed project to the board. Although not a final rendering, his presentation provided a visual example of what the new housing could look like.

"When the discussions came to us to start thinking about what this could look like and how this could feel, the intent was that it'd look and feel like it was just a part of Dogwood Hall," McMorran said.

"There's a lot of similar details in the exterior, similar room layouts in the interior," he said.

The shared amenities and services between Dogwood Hall and the new residence building may include the same residential director, as well as an added shared kitchen facility and laundry facility, Embry said.

"There's one kitchen, and of course, with 240 students, that's really not much," she said. "And, of course, the laundry facility, there's just one area, and for whatever reason, I think they all wash their clothes at the same time."

Although the new residential hall's proposed construction would include a small parking area, many of the students would still have to park in the existing parking across the street, McMorran said.

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