UB Announces Plans for Fifth New Housing Complex

Apartments to house graduate, professional and married students

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: June 27, 2001

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- As construction on its 540-bed Flint Village student housing project nears completion, the University at Buffalo is turning its attention to what administrators say is a pressing need for housing for graduate, professional and married students.

UB plans to break ground in August on another residential complex, the fifth such project in five years. Located along Skinnersville Road on the northern edge of the North (Amherst) Campus near the Ellicott Complex, the project is slated for completion in August 2002.

It will consist of 13 two-story buildings featuring 102 two-bedroom townhouse units and 14 two-bedroom ranch-style units, for a total designed occupancy of 232. Seven of the buildings will be located along the west side of Bizer Creek, with six buildings -- plus a community building -- to be located on the east side of the creek.

Each apartment will have 1,000 square feet of living space, with a living room, kitchen, two bedrooms and a full bath. The two-story townhouses also will have a half bath on the ground floor. Each fully furnished unit will have a washer and dryer; a full kitchen with all appliances, including a dishwasher and microwave; central air-conditioning; high-speed computer data ports, and campus cable television.

The project, estimated to cost $11 million, will be sponsored by the UB Alumni Association and the UB Foundation Inc. The architect is Lauer-Manguso Associates. Rents charged for the apartments -- which will be comparable to the other apartment-style units on campus -- will cover the cost of construction, to be completed at no cost to taxpayers.

The public land on the North Campus was made available for private housing development due to a clause in state education law that allows SUNY trustees to work with alumni associations to develop housing on SUNY campuses.

The SUNY Board of Trustees approved the Skinnersville project at its June 19 meeting.

The complex is designed to meet what Clifford B. Wilson, UB associate vice president for student affairs, calls a "huge demand" at UB for housing for graduate, professional and married students. While other residential complexes that have been constructed during the latest building boom have housed some graduate and professional students, only one -- Flickinger Court -- is devoted solely to those students and also offers space for married students, both graduate and undergraduate.

Wilson notes that there is a waiting list at Flickinger Court -- located at Chestnut Ridge and Sweet Home roads, adjacent to the North Campus -- as well as at the other residential complexes on campus.

Joseph Krakowiak, UB director of residence halls, agrees.

"We're under-capacity for undergraduate and graduate apartment spaces," Krakowiak says. "Over the past four years, the culture of choice for students is changing. More students want the convenience of living on campus, as opposed to moving off campus."

He points out that many students who moved off campus as UB undergraduates now are interested in living on campus as graduate students.

"The demand is steady and growing for all types of housing," he says.

Wilson adds that increasing the number of apartment spaces for graduate students also should help in meeting Provost Elizabeth D. Capaldi's goal of increasing graduate enrollment, particularly at the master's level.

He notes that the administration has vetted the project with the campus Environmental Task Force, and the plans are "within the guidelines set by the EFT for developing this particular piece of property." For example, he says, the buildings will be constructed 100 feet from both sides of Bizer Creek, and a significant number of trees will be not be cut down.

Moreover, the project will adhere to the executive order on energy- efficient buildings that was issued by Gov. George Pataki on June 10, he says.

The Skinnersville project is the fifth project in the university's long-term plan to provide housing for students and improve their quality of life.

The other projects and their completion dates are Flickinger Court, August 1998; Hadley Village, August 1999; South Lake Village, August 2000, and Flint Village, which is scheduled to open this August.

Wilson also notes that a study on converting Goodyear Hall on the South Campus from traditional dormitory-style housing into apartments is expected to be completed by mid-September. And the master planning process to determine uses for the parcel of land along Lee Road from The Commons to the Ellicott Complex on the North Campus, which likely will include residential space for students, also is expected to be completed this fall.