Daemen College plunged into the growing trend of apartment-style student housing this fall, with the first of a three-phase $13.5 million venture welcoming students back to downtown Buffalo.
UB's third apartment complex, Flint Village, opened its doors to students this summer, alleviating what university President William Greiner dubbed the "Attica West" aesthetic of the North Campus.
If one viewed both Daemen's Campus Drive apartments and UB's Flint Village apartments (both built by ADF Construction Corp.) side-by-side, it would be hard to tell the two apart. Both Flint's two- and three-story apartments and Campus Drive's buildings share a wide, flat design with arched entryways. Although the complexes may offer analogous views, the community supplied by each differs greatly.
Daemen's Campus Drive complex, the first new building at Daemen following 23 demolitions since World War II, does not have group apartments such as Flint's single, double and four-person units, but rather offers apartment-style bedrooms in a dorm-style setting.
Residents in Campus Drive can freely roam the halls and interact. Many students prefer this community to individualized apartments.
"I get to see my friends as I walk around," said Sarah Cushman, an education major at Daemen. "I prefer this setup to just a bunch of isolated apartments. I feel I can socialize a lot more."
Justin Berger, a chemical engineering major in UB's Flint Village, prefers his privacy.
"I like the apartment setup, particularly Flint," said Berger. "The dorm style does have its advantages. But I just wouldn't trade [Flint Village] for anything."
If the two schools share anything, it's an upper-classmen base eager for anything other than the norm.
"I was excited to get out of the dull dorms," said Dana Rasmussen, a junior humanities major at Daemen. "The new apartments are much nicer, and I have a lot more space for my things. Dorm living all around [the nation] needs updating."
Each of the 21 residents in Campus Drive's apartment buildings pay a standard Daemen room and board fee; UB's students can pay anywhere from $3,186 for a space in a dormitory quad to $5,550 for a single in Flint. Daemen and UB both require students in the apartments to be upperclassmen in good behavioral and academic standing.
Students at Campus Drive share more than just hall space. Each apartment building has one shared kitchen, along with a lounge that houses the only cable television connection. Each floor also has one shared bathroom, as opposed to Flint which contains one or two bathrooms per apartment.
The new additions to UB and Daemen's campuses are among construction projects at almost every college in the Buffalo area. Canisius recently opened a three-building $15.5 million apartment complex, housing 200 students, and many other local universities, including Medaille and D'Youville, have begun renovating academic or student buildings.