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Volume 71, Issue 5, Friday, August 26, 2005


Residents happy with expansion

Additions to Cullen Oaks add more parking, rooms for students 
in near-campus housing complex

By Amy Wolfman
The Daily Cougar

A new parking garage and a housing expansion of Cullen Oaks have helped ease the tension created by overpopulation and long waiting lists at the near-campus student housing complex Cullen Oaks, Area Manager Kerri Coffman Fujiwara said.

Fujiwara said the new wing provides students with an opportunity to increase their productivity in school.

The expansion to Cullen Oaks helped ease the long waiting list, Cullen Oaks employee Kerri Coffman Fujiwara said, and the new parking garage makes some students feel "a lot safer."
Evan Vargas/

The Daily Cougar

"It provides more of an opportunity for students to live on campus. Studies over the years have shown that students who live on campus tend to do better in their studies and have a higher retention rate," she said.

Last December, the University began construction on Cullen Oaks' parking garage and new wing. The expansion went as scheduled, with the projects completed in time for the beginning of this semester.

The $16.7 million addition provides 186 fully furnished apartments and 354 beds to the complex, which previously had 525 beds. It's similar to the other wings: The bedrooms are the same size, but the living areas are smaller, Fujiwara said. About 330 students moved into the new area, she said, and she anticipates more this week.

The completion of the new three-level parking garage with 476 parking spots -- 141 on the ground level, 172 on the first level and 163 on the top level -- assures that Cullen Oaks residents in both the new and older wings have enough parking spaces, Fujiwara said.

Communication senior Andrew Lee is pleased with the new parking garage. He said it makes parking easier by eliminating the problem of having to park in the overflow lot across the street from the complex.

Media productions senior Ashley Rhodes agrees. She said the parking garage makes Cullen Oaks safer and provides more residents with places to put their vehicles.

"I feel a lot safer with the parking (garage)," she said. "It's very well lit and visible from (far) away."

Rates for the new apartments in Cullen Oaks with one bedroom and one bath are $6,000 per academic year. A unit with two bedrooms and one bath will cost $5,200 per person each year, and the yearly rate for one with two bedrooms and two baths is $5,750.

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