MAGNOLIA, Ark. — Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia is looking to build more on-campus housing for the second consecutive year due to increasing enrollment.
The university has had enrollment spurts with two double-digit increases in the past two years, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2dIp36i ). The school, which reported having more than 4,700 students this August, is the fastest-growing public four-year university in the state.
The university completed two new dorms this year, but will need more. One of the new halls filled up when classes started in August, and about 100 students had to be housed in hotels until the second residence hall was ready. Those students moved in last week.
Trustees gave the university approval to issue $8 million in bonds for two more residence halls last week. One of the halls will be a renovation of the old skating rink Rider Rink, and the other will be a new residence hall behind Magnolia hall. Together, the halls will house a little more than 160 students.
University officials credited their new programs, such as engineering, game design and animation, for the sudden growth in enrollment.
Before the recent residence hall openings, the university was housing about 1,600 students, which was 40 more than capacity. As of last fall, two residence halls that had double-rooms were changed to triple rooms, and another hall doubled its single rooms.
Officials hope to have both halls completed by August 2017.
Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com