In his March 15 President’s Report given at the Academic and Professional Faculty Meeting, President Donald Christian addressed issues relating to the Park Point housing development.
Christian said he is currently trying to focus on the college’s need for additional housing. With .45 residence hall beds for every student, Christian said New Paltz is “dead last” compared to eight other SUNY schools where the average number of beds is .59 per student.
“They have the ability to house 59 percent of their students in the residence halls,” Christian said. “If you take our current residence hall capacity and add the 225 beds for the new residence hall we are designing, we are still below that average.”
In a survey sent to transfer students in summer 2012, roughly 60 percent of them said they would live in an apartment complex like Park Point if it were available at “reasonable quality and cost,” Christian said.
With a target of 1,000 transfer students – 650 students in the fall and 350 in the spring — paired with high retention rates of roughly 88 percent, Christian said there are nearly 1,900 transfer students enrolled at the college.
“There is … need and demand for student housing even if we don’t grow our enrollments,” Christian said.
Even though Park Point will not be part of the campus, Christian said it is close enough that administration is interested in it, as it would “let students live right next to campus and be able to be engaged in student life.”
Christian also presented findings from Park Point developer Wilmorite’s energy consultant that the housing complex will be made consistent with National Green Building Standard (NGBS) “Silver” and LEED “Silver” qualifications.
When the findings were reported to the Town Planning Board, it was concluded that the designs would have “easily exceeded” the LEED “Silver” qualifications, if LEED had been selected, according to the report.
“This analysis should offer assurance that Park Point is being designed in a way consistent with the College’s commitments and standards for environmental sustainability,” the report said.