Apartment-style living to be available at WKU in fall

Michael McKay

A new student housing option will allow upperclassmen to live in off-campus apartments through WKU.

The 36 units are being built in the wrap around the new parking structure on the corner of 13th and Kentucky streets, said Brian Kuster, director of Housing and Residence Life. Each unit is two bedrooms, meaning 72 students will be able to select a space in the apartments to lease this fall.

Kit Tolbert, director of housing operations, said students will soon be able to see a video walkthrough, leasing information and a bulleted list of amenities and included items to help students visualize the apartment on the housing renewal website.

Tolbert said the process of signing up for an apartment won’t be very different from signing up for a dorm.

“We’re going to set it up similar to a residence hall room, since every apartment is for two people,” Tolbert said. “So instead of it being Minton Hall, it might just say apartment room 100, one and two.”

The apartments will be open for availability on Feb. 27, during housing renewal, for rising seniors moving to a different room. The rooms will be made available to rising juniors on Feb. 28.

Each unit will have a kitchen, living room and separate bathrooms.

The kitchen will have granite counters and stainless steel appliances, along with two chairs along the counters and wood flooring. The bathroom will have separate tiled showers and toilets, with a shared vanity and two basins.

The living room, along with the rest of the apartment, will be carpeted and will come with a leather couch and a table that can be used as a television stand.

The bedrooms will have a full bedroom set and a sliding-door closet with storage shelves.

Students living in the apartments will not have to follow the same rules as students in other types of housing. There will not be resident assistants in the apartments, and students will not have to check anyone into their room.

The apartment coordinator, Minnette Huck, said she will be in the building to help students with maintenance issues or noisy neighbors.

“I’ll be there as a resource for the students that live there,” she said.

Huck said the apartments won’t have safety checks that happen in other buildings, and alcohol will be permitted for students over the age of 21.

Student living in the apartments will be able to park in the new parking garage, which will also be open for commuter students. Residents will pay for a permit equivalent to the cost of a housing permit, and HRL will subsidize the price for the garage access.

Students who sign up for the apartment will later be contacted about signing a lease. Kuster said the price will be around $400 a bed.

“As we looked at other student apartments, that’s well below the current price for a two-bedroom apartment,” Kuster said.

Kuster said this is a comparable price per month to what many complexes charge for a four-bedroom apartment.

“Once we get through the process and everyone assigns themselves, then we would contact them about signing the apartment lease,” Tolbert said.

Kuster said HRL is looking at 11-month leases, from Aug. 1 to June 30.

“It gives students a little more flexibility that are graduating,” Kuster said.

Kuster said off-campus apartments were something that students have wanted.

“That’s something that students have told us — ‘We want that opportunity to live off campus and have that experience,’” Kuster said. “Parents, I think, will feel better leasing from the university as opposed to an apartment complex.”