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Dorm Life Upscaled at Sam Houston State

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College life means living on your own in one of two places, on campus or off campus. On campus residents enjoy a close proximity to classes and few of the parking problems. Off campus students usually get nicer accommodations and more privacy. But students at Sam Houston State can now have the best of both worlds.

Allison Heraly is a junior at Sam Houston State University. Normally, most students at that level would no longer be living on campus, but Allison is enjoying her new home away from home in a more modern style.

"I really love that I have my own bedroom here and I don't have to share a bathroom with four other girls. It’s just me and my roommates. So its really nice here," says Allison.

Bearkat Village and Sam Houston Village were built in the last few years. There are some perks of living in the newer dorms. Each student has more privacy, their own phone line and a kitchenette, making the transition from home to dorm life a bit easier.

"We wanted to get away from more traditional type rooms, where four people share a bathroom. We wanted to get more in the apartment style. We thought students would appreciate that more," says Ron Pettitt, Assistant Director of Residence Life.

Enrollment numbers are increasing. This semester, SHSU is at a record 15,300. They project a four percent growth of students over the next three years. Because of that growth, housing is at a premium.

The new complex will be similar to the other two on campus, but with more space and it will house upperclassmen.

"I hope further down the line, we'll build some more like it. Our other buildings are getting old, they need to be replaced in the future," says Ron.

The new complex will be built on a six-acre lot that used to be occupied by several small houses and family housing. These new apartment-like dorms have become quite popular with students at Sam.

"I think this is a great alternative, especially for freshman because they're not allowed to live off campus. This makes the transition from home to dorm life a lot easier," says Ron.

Construction is expected to start next month with hopes of being ready by fall 2006.