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BYUI breaks ground on new student apartments

By Emily Valla
Published On: Sep 30 2013 07:50:34 PM CDT

BYU Idaho breaks ground on new student apartments

REXBURG, Idaho -

Brigham Young University Idaho will officially break ground for more student housing this week they are upgrading their energy facilities.

"The student housing we have on campus now has essentially reached the end of it's useful life," said Marc Stevens of University Relations.

The new complex will house for 850 single students. It is apartment style and students will have their choice of four, six, or eight bed arrangements. The new complex will house men and women, depending on the needs for any given year.

Freshman Kailey Hankins is excited to have new options.

"It was kind of hard finding housing. There were waiting lists and stuff," she said.

Another first-year student, Rachel Chery, chose to live off campus to avoid the dorms.

"The dorms were just like... They have the community stuff and it's just not as enjoyable, so I thought I'd live in the apartments," she said.

There was concern that lowering the missionary age might shrink enrollment numbers, but that doesn't seem to be the case. The campus is continuing to grow.

"It's a growing school, it's a great school, and I think it's great if they are able to fill it, and have more students here, it's a great thing," said D.J. Bohn, a junior.

In order to heat and cool the new project and the whole campus, some changes will be needed for the energy facility.

"The heat plant portion is what's being replaced. It's about 50 years old and it's reached the end of its lifespan," said Stevens.

The university also needs to meet federal environmental regulations, which means switching from coal to natural gas.

The chiller unit was completed in 2009, and will be integrated in to the new structure.

The Biddulph Parking Lot is closed as of Sept. 30. The area in front of the new housing complex between Fifth South to Seventh South is closed during construction.

The apartments should be ready for students in 2015, and the new heat plant completed in 2016. 

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