Investors sign with SCC president to build dorms
Shoreline Community College is building a 400-bed dorm. SCC President Lee Lambert recently signed a memorandum of understanding with investors to push the idea forward.
Lambert explained that the administration has been working with David Lee & Partners, who will invest allowing the project to happen.
"The way we are structuring this, the college probably will put up little or no money," Lambert said.
The goal of creating the dorm is to accommodate an expanding student body. Last year the school
announced its aim to expand the number of international students from 600 to 1000 by 2015.
While the dorms would house mainly international students, some domestic students would be able to live there as well.
The plan is still under development and the next step is for the City of Shoreline to approve a
location. This will happen through the school's Master Development Plan, which gives the City of Shoreline an idea of what SCC's administration foresees for new campus building projects within the next 10 to 20 years.
Lambert explained that consultants and architects have been hired to work with the school.
Some of the planning involves expertise that SCC does not have locally because the School's topography is challenging. For example our campus is set on a hill, which makes it difficult to design a dorm with plans to include two floors of underground parking. For this reason, it is still unknown whether the dorm will be on or off campus.
"This represents a new opportunity for Shoreline to build a greater sense of community, a greater sense of pride, and to really establish us as a global college," Lambert said. "Shoreline
Community College is already a global college but this will become a symbol of (this)."
Once a residential advisor at Evergreen State College, Lambert noted the importance of dorms to enrich college life. "Part of college is a residence-life component," he said. "When you don't have a residential life … it doesn't feel the same way. Once you have residential life …you are not a commuter institution anymore, you are a college."
Former International student, Himanshu Mehru was unaware of the new dorm development.
"Wow... thas sounds exciting," he said.
Mehru feels that having dorms nearby will cut down international and domestic student transportation costs.
He moved from Chandigarh, 100 miles from New Dehli, to Shoreline to study at SCC because the international student tuition is affordable. He later became a Washington State resident.
"It is an investment that should last," he said. "Make (the dorms) so they will last the next 100 years even though our costs of doing that may seem more than (the school) can afford."
Right now, many international students stay with families in the area as part of a home-stay program. However, by building the dorm the school can increase the student population.
Mehru found housing elsewhere. He confessed it would have been easier to live in a dorm. He found it challenging to find roommates and a place to rent. Not including the challenge of finding compatible roommates, which is typically a service provided by a residential-life itself.
Apartment and house rentals are also and option for students but they, too, are limited.
Lambert explained that by expanding the number of international students the housing community could be drained. In order to keep enrollment numbers up, the new residential life program will be necessary to balance out the increased housing needs.
Once the administration is ready to start building Lambert expects the project to be finished within a 2 to 3 year period.
"It offers another option to manage the housing need for students," Lambert said. "I also see this as a benefit for domestic students too because there may be students who really want to have a residential life experience."
Alexis Chouery, Staff Writer