Auburn University looks off campus to ease housing crunch

Nov 25, 2019

Credit auburn.edu

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — An Auburn University executive says private, off-campus apartments could be a solution to help ease a campus housing crunch.

Bobby Woodard, senior vice president for student affairs, made the comments at a recent work session of Auburn University’s board of trustees.

Woodard’s office has reached out to local apartment operators about leasing buildings, with the option to buy at some point, The Opelika-Auburn News reported. He told trustees that apartment owners in Auburn are interested in the idea.

“We had a lot of interest from apartment complexes in the city, a lot more than we thought we would have,” Woodard told trustees. “… I do believe some of apartment owners think our community might be overbuilt.”

Woodard said that any such partnerships with private housing entities would be subject to strict security screenings and public health considerations.

On the campus, Woodard said he is working on plans to get students “off the Hill,” a reference to the outdated cluster of student dorms on the south end of campus.

Renovations are being planned for the Village Residence Hall complex, which is estimated to range from around $15 million to $16 million, and other dorms are likely to get renovations in the near future as part of retiring the buildings on the Hill.

A new dorm and office site is also possible for the Haley concourse in the center of campus.