In reaction to the steadily increasing student population of over 27,000, the UC Irvine administration has drawn up plans to house over 1,500 more graduates and undergraduates on campus.
The new housing complexes will be located between the Vista Del Campo and Arroyo Vista housing complexes as well as in the area now used for Parking Lot 1B, for undergraduate housing and graduate housing, respectively. Construction on the triangular field is projected for completion by fall 2010.
Currently, 10,500 students live in on-campus housing; certain off-campus locations are often filled to their full capacity at the expense of a plethora of waitlisted students who are refused residence.
In the past, UCI Student Affairs has attempted to remedy this situation by providing two years of guaranteed on-campus housing for all incoming freshman. There are, however, very few options for upperclassmen and graduate students, and as each year progresses, the need for on-campus housing grows larger.
Dan Dooros, associate vice chancellor of Student Affairs predicts that, “by the fall of 2010, UCI will add an additional 1,200 undergraduate spaces and 560 graduate spaces increasing our total student residential population to over 12,000.” With such an immense increase in UCI’s student body, a number of construction projects will soon be underway.
The current state of UCI student housing options, including these additions, arose two years ago when the university could not supply rooms for incoming freshmen. In this clinch, the school was forced to adjust two-person dorm rooms to fit three people, leading to much discomfort and frustration for students. As a result of this, on-campus housing communities like VDC and VDC Norte restricted their openings to second-years in an effort to make amends, allowing the rest of the rooms to be decided upon by lottery for all upperclassmen.
Since both of these communities are close to campus, many upperclassmen felt unfairly treated since the majority of them would miss out on this convenience. Expanding UCI’s housing territory is an attempt to rectify this problem. It will allow VDC and VDC Norte to house second-years, the new undergraduate building to house third- and fourth-years, and the new graduate student building to finally give grad students a better chance of living close to campus.
Starting July 2008, American Campus Communities, a housing development company that worked on VDC and VDC Norte, will simultaneously break ground in three places at UCI. The first site will be the undeveloped lot across from the VDC apartment complexes and behind the ARC field. This project will consist of 1,200 new living spaces for undergraduates. The graduate housing addition will be located on what is now Parking Lot 1B, across from Verano Place.
In order to provide convenient living conditions for potential residences, a new parking structure will also be built in what is currently the ARC parking lot. Along with similar projects, the university’s goal is to house at least 50 percent of its entire student body at once
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