By Christopher Wilson, Staff Writer —
The first residents have moved into the new West Campus dormitory, a project that brings three new stores to UTC and increases the on-campus population by nearly a quarter.
West Campus has a distinctly modern design. Set on the corner of Houston and Vine St, every floor contains a study lounge and conference room.
Plush furniture and full-length windows are typical, and sitting areas are in every corner of the building. The first floor also includes a Dippers, an Einstein Bagels, a book store and a P.O.D. Market.
The dorm rooms themselves have over 230 square feet of space, but each suite is designed for four students, with two students sharing a bedroom and bathroom. There is a communal microwave and fridge within each suite, but students have their own private desk and storage space.
The housing cost for West Campus is $3800 a semester.
UTC Freshmen Emeline Freeman and Maggie Kimbro are among the almost 600 freshmen that moved into West Campus this semester. They are already making full use of the facilities.
“I love the little common areas,” Freeman said. “Everything’s just super nice… It’s new and exciting.”
Kimbro said that she loves the convenience of new restaurants like Dippers and Einstein Bagels being just downstairs along with the views from housing complex.
Carling Wilson, Assistant Director for Occupancy Management, said this is a common opinion.
“It’s got the best views on campus,” Wilson said, “between Lookout Mountain and [view of] the tennis court, the lounge space is just beautiful.”
According to Wilson, the two couches in the West Campus also make for a convenient space to watch movies or play video games, and she hopes it will grow to be a quick and easy meeting place for UTC students.
This is aided by another convenient feature of West Campus residence—a private, three level parking garage. It is designed to hold all the building’s residence along with twenty-eight motorcycles.
Director of Housing Valara Sample said that parking is protected by a gate and is only accessible to West Campus residents. It is the same for most facilities in the building.
The exceptions to the rule are the classrooms and multimedia room on the first floor. These rooms will be used by faculty on campus as reserved meeting spaces. The multimedia room can be reserved by students and faculty.
Students are invited to West Campus this Friday during Chancellor Steven Angle’s commencement address. There will be free tours of the building after a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the new facility.