JANESVILLE, Wis. - University of Wisconsin Rock County leaders are hoping to provide students with more options as they get an education.
A growing commuter-student base has the university looking at expanding.
UW Rock County is considering building a 120-bed residence hall to help commuter students such as Trevor Kubly, who travels from Monroe to UW Rock County to attend class.
One potential location for the residence hall is on the south side of campus. Dean Carmen Wilson said nearly half of the UW System's two-year colleges have residence halls or are planning them.
"Students who live on campus tend to have higher graduation and retention rates than students who live off campus, so it would be good for our current students as well," Wilson said.
Wilson said UW Rock County attracts international students but loses them because the college doesn't offer housing.
She said the college's new tuition agreement coupled with a dorm would attract more out-of-state students.
"They can actually come here and pay less to come to UW Rock County than they would pay in-state in Illinois," Wilson said.
Students who support the idea said the convenience could simplify their lives and give them a more traditional college experience.18347778
"I think it will also bring the community closer because I did stay in dorms at Marquette and you get to make friends and absorb the environment more and get more involved on campus, instead of your class is done and just go straight home and don't think about this place until tomorrow," said Alex Saazar, of South Beloit.
"It would give me a nice place to do all of my homework, and I could just lock my door and say, 'Go away, I got to do stuff,'" Kubly said.
The reaction to the idea has been positive so far. The dean plans to host some forums on campus in the next month to get more feedback from students and staff on the project.
Wilson estimates the dorm would cost $4 million to $5 million. She said that if approved, it could open in the fall of 2014.
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