COLUMBIA, Mo. — The University of Missouri is preparing to reopen six residence halls that were left mostly idle this year because of low enrollment.

The university announced Thursday that all the residence halls would be in use in the fall and are expected to be at or near capacity, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported .

The increase is partly due to cuts in room rates and relaxed requirements to purchase meal plans for returning students, said Gary Ward, vice chancellor for operations.

“We have done a lot of creative marketing to our returning students,” he said. “We had never done that before. We had never offered residential hall living to upperclassmen, sophomores and transfer students.”

The university idled seven residence halls last spring due to a severe drop in incoming freshmen, the only students required to live on campus. University officials attributed the enrollment decline to the 2015 protests involving the school’s students, faculty and football team.

Some dorms were kept available for visitors to use, including football weekend rentals.

Six of the idled dorms will be reopened, adding about 1,300 more beds. The remaining idled dorm has been put under long-term lease to MU Health Care for administrative offices.

University officials said most of the reopened rooms will be filled with returning students, putting additional pressure on private landlords already struggling to fill off-campus apartments.

Some landlords offered incentives of at least $1,000 to renters last summer, with one operator offering to buy students out of their housing contracts.


Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, http://www.columbiatribune.com

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