Extended housing finds new home in Koch fitness center

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With more than 1,500 freshmen on campus this fall, Residence Life was faced with finding room for them to live.

What Residence Life assistant director Bryan Helminiak called a “daunting task” was made easier this summer thanks to the construction of dorm rooms for 15 freshmen men in the basement of Koch Commons. The opening of the Anderson Recreation and Athletic Center made it feasible for the space, which had been a workout room, to be converted into dorms.

“We call it the barracks,” said freshman Jonathon Pike.

The space has allowed Residence Life to house close to its target number, with only two people remaining on the waitlist.

“Considering where we thought we would be, getting down to that number was very positive for us,” Helminiak said.

Helminiak said the “barracks” will help in future years if freshmen classes stay as large as this year’s class. So far, reviews have been positive from those staying in the new dorms.

“After living down here, I wouldn’t want to move out,” freshman Benjamin McAllister said.

Jordan Osterman can be reached at jrosterman@stthomas.edu.