by Steven C. Chavez
Asst. Arts Editor
After waiting a year for the Santa Fe Railroad to release property on the southwest corner of First and E Streets (where the train station was once located), the University of La Verne has purchased the one-acre parcel of land for $200,000. The land will provide parking space for the newly-proposed dormitory to be built across the street from the recently-bought property.
The reason it has taken so long for ULV to acquire the property, President Stephen Morgan said, was because the railroad company “had to go through its own bureaucracy.” Escrow finally closed two weeks ago for the University.
The Claremont architectural firm, Wheeler and Wheeler, is designing the new dorm which will cost approximately $1.6 million.
“The dormitory project has been in the works since I’ve come to the University. The Board of Trustees has always intended to use the property for student housing. The project is self-paid through the rental of the dorms. So not too much money will come out of ULV’s budget itself,” said Dr. Morgan.
With the new dorms, student housing at the Daisy apartment complex (University Woods) will eventually be eliminated, he said. Although many individuals would still live in apartments, the University would not be responsible for them, said Dr. Morgan.
“Approximately 200 students can be housed in the new dorm. In about five weeks the University will send proposed building plans to the city of La Verne. From there the long process of reviewing will begin. But the city may not accept the plans and modification might possibly happen in some areas,” Dr. Morgan said.
Another reason the new dormitory is needed is “to improve residential life and the campus community,” said Director of Residential Life, Jeff Cripe. He added that half the students at La Verne live two miles away from campus and this puts a barrier between activities. and communications with them.
”We have shown the proposed dorm plans to student groups, the Residential Life Forum (RLF), and anyone who was interested. All the feedback I’ve received has been positive,” Cripe said.
However, some students from the Woods have different opinions about the use of the recently-bought property. “People need the extra freedom they receive in the apartment atmosphere. I think a lot of people don’t like being cooped up with a bunch of others in the same building. Some people need their privacy,” said Matthew Richardson, freshman. “It’s cheaper to live at the Woods than at the dorms, because at the dorms you have to buy a meal plan, and I don’t eat $900 worth of food a semester,” he said.