Beginning in fall 2018, Elizabethtown College upperclassmen will be able to live on-campus without physically being there thanks to the new Featherton Crossing Apartments housing option.
The apartments are located under two miles from campus but are considered on-campus housing because students do not need to break their housing contract to live there.
The apartments will hold 64 students in two- and four-person units like the ones in the Vera Hackman Apartments and Schreiber Quadrangle. However, this building will have other amenities, including a fitness room, an outdoor pool and a washer and dryer in each room. Students can also live in groups of three if one of them wants to buy out the other space in his or her room.
Living in Featherton for the 2018-2019 school year costs about $8,000, and students need to have their own transportation to and from campus. Meanwhile, living in a typical room on campus costs $5,630 for a residence hall and $6,610 for the quads and apartments.
“There is a cost premium, but this is a premium place to live,” Area Coordinator Dominic DiLoreto said.
The cost and the balance of having on-campus housing in an off-campus setting were two of many topics covered at an information session Wednesday, Jan. 31 in Hoover 110. DiLoreto and Coordinator of Housing Operations Wendi Kenley presented about the new housing and answered questions from about 20 students. Kenley said that while the new apartments are an attractive option, the session was not designed to persuade students to live there.
“We just want to inform students,” she said. “We understand that students will make their own housing choices and we want to provide them with all the options we can.”
Kenley and DiLoreto discussed the selection process for Featherton and how it differs from the process for the apartments and quads. Applications for Featherton open Monday, Feb. 5 on JayWeb, and students will be notified of their acceptance Friday, March 2. Accepted students will select their rooms Tuesday, March 13. However, students who are not accepted into Featherton will be placed into the lottery for the on-campus ILUs.
“I know it’s different than what you’re used to, but I think it will go well,” Kenley said. “It’ll just take a little more communication with fellow students and with us.”
Sophomore Mirthe Berends attended the information session with fellow sophomores Claudia Jones and Allison Plotts, her current roommates. The women listed everything from nicer kitchens to having more space to not having an RA as reasons for their interest in Featherton.
“I’d pay the housing contract fee and then pay the extra to live there,” Jones said before the session.
“They’re a lot nicer than any other house you’d find in Etown,” Plotts added.
However, Berends noted that one of the downsides of living in Featherton is not being able to walk anywhere. “I’m a soccer player. If I forget something for class or practice I can’t just run back to my room and grab it,” she said.
While the apartments are physically off-campus, they will still have ties to the College. For example, residents will use the College’s wifi and Xfinity Live services. While Campus Security will not patrol the building, its officers will still respond to emergencies.
Throughout the session, DiLoreto and Kenley emphasized that doing what students wanted was a main factor in the decision to make Featherton an option.
“We’re not making money by offering this,” DiLoreto said. “We held focus groups and sent out surveys, and this seemed like something students were interested in, so we did it.”
Students had many questions throughout the session. One student asked what furniture the College would provide Featherton residents.
According to Kenley, the College will provide beds, desks, chairs and dressers, but students are responsible for all other furniture.
Sophomore Dannielle Kerstetter is unsure where she wants to live next year and attended the session to see if Featherton would be a good option.
“I’m trying to get internships in this area, so it’d be nice to have an apartment near campus where I could live year-round,” she said, referring to Featherton’s option to sign a 12-month housing contract. “The biggest con would probably be having to buy out the last spot if you only have three people. It’s a lot we all have to consider.”
There is another information session Thursday, Feb. 8 in Hoover 110 at 5 p.m.