Flats on Grand provide much-needed housing option as enrollment grows

As students begin to overflow from campus housing like rabbits from a magician’s hat trick gone terribly awry, the Department of Housing and Residence life has, just in time, given them somewhere to go.

They owed us this, of course: in 2009, the University began to require that both freshmen and sophomores live on campus; this, along with the large influx of international students in recent years, put serious strains on the housing situation. Just last fall, students were pushed into temporary housing in Manresa Center, before it was used to quarantine those sickly with swine flu.

Now, though, the University is turning The Flats at 347 on Grand Boulevard into on-campus housing, set to open in the fall of 2010. The apartments are furnished, and have the added bonus of pre-installed flat-screened televisions, as well as a fitness center in the complex, according to the apartment posting website, Forrent.com.

These apartments also are at the boundaries of campus, closer than any other dorm except Reinert to the Metrolink and Metrobus stations. This is conducive toward easing students off campus, into the cultural Mecca of the South Grand district with its plethora of Asian and Middle Eastern restaurants and alternative stores.

One downside of turning the Flats into on-campus housing is that these dorms currently function as off-campus residences for students who desire that option; once made the domain of on-campus housing, this extra option would disappear for those wanting to live more independently but also nearby.

Still, the University has at last managed to give students another place to live, for which we all must give them credit.