Singles-Only Dorm Set for South Campus

Carolina wants to build a new dorm on one of the last pieces of the campus considered to be a viable building site. The trustees this week authorized housing officials to design a “super suite”-style dorm to house about 276 men and women. It would be built on a steep slope on South Campus along Ridge Road between the Rams Head complex and the student services building that occupies the site of the old Chase Hall.

It would give the campus another dorm in the style students now prefer — suites with four single rooms, two baths and a common living room — and would replace the remaining units of the old Odum Village. The parts of Odum still standing are expected to be closed in 2015 and will be repurposed or torn down.

Preliminary estimates put the cost of the project at $29 million, which would be covered by funds generated from dorm rent and by accumulated reserves.

The first super suites were created on the top three floors of Morrison when that 10-floor building was renovated, but those have three double rooms to one bath. The new dorm would be the first to have super suites with single rooms. It could be ready for the fall 2016 semester.

The 10-plus-year-old campus master development plan calls for a structure on the site.

The plan for the new dorm indicates a turning away from campus apartments like the ones in five buildings built on South Campus in 2006. Rick Bradley, associate director of housing and residential education, said current rents on the Ram Village apartments do not cover the debt on the buildings.

“Apartments are too expensive to build, and students won’t pay the rent,” Bradley said. “The super suite is more feasible.”

Officials said the new dorm’s rent probably would be slightly more than those with single rooms with no common area — which in 2014-15 will cost students $3,513 per semester — but less than a single bedroom apartment, which costs $3,662.

Officials expect the new dorm will include 20,000 square feet of street-level nonresidential space that could be used for administrative, academic or commercial purposes.

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