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New WU housing to open


WILBERFORCE — Wilberforce University will break ground on a proposed 10-dormitory complex at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29.

A 29 percent increase in the 2023-2024 enrollment moved the Wilberforce executive team to consider a quick way to house more students. Because of the large enrollment upswing, some students were placed in off campus apartments, leased by the university. But creating these new, on campus living spaces will connect more students to their collegiate surroundings.

“I have gotten a lot of good feedback from students who are really excited about the prospect of having a new residence hall on campus,” said WU senior Alexander Murphy, president of the Student Government Association. “Everyone is looking forward to returning to school after the Christmas break to see what the first new dorm will look like.”

The completion date for the first of these prefabricated residence halls dormitory is scheduled for December when 33 students will move to a new campus home. Once completely constructed, all of these three story buildings will have a cutting edge design with a look that’s more contemporary than the familiar brick and mortar campus housing.

“These pre-made dorms are a great solution to our housing issue,” said President Vann R. Newkirk. “Financially, for the most part, we are building them on our own. The infrastructure at the construction site is already there — so plumbing and electrical services are ready. We will save money by not paying any more rent for other housing, we have furniture that has been in storage from other shuttered dorms, and we are ready to begin a campaign that will help raise additional capital.”

Newkirk said three additional dormitories will be constructed by the fall of next year.

The groundbreaking will take place near the WU security station, across from the Alumni Complex on Bickett Road.