InnervisionsUMASS wrote: ↑
Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:01 am
While I can't comment on the specific figure, this was the case when I was there in the early 2000s as well. Top 5 sounds about right, though I think at that time it might have been top 5 in actual bodies rather than %. Either way, it's pretty remarkable. I think the town that UMass exists in is a hindrance to expanding the off campus students. Amherst wants to stay the small town it was before UMass ever existed.
I'm actually not so sure all these housing plans are for the undergraduate population. The university uses AAU members to measure its performance, if we want to compete with them we need to significantly increase our graduate enrollment. Part of this will come from improving key graduate programs, of note the expansion of facilities for STEM and business programs, but the other part will need to be affordable and attractive housing options.
With that in mind, I'm not sure Amherst wants to be so small anymore. There have been multiple large apartment complexes under construction over the past few years: Olympia, Kendrick, Boltwood, new buildings in Alpine Common to name a few. The town has also been flexible with the concerns of the university, putting in a rotary on triangle street this summer to smooth increased traffic at the Southeast entrance to campus. Further, Hadley has not been shy about commercial development and I think they would see mixed-residential as an attractive replacement should the mall close (in all likelihood it will, at least in parts).
However, these options will still probably not cover the housing demand created if we are to compete with AAU members (or if undergraduate housing drops from its current 64% on-campus rate). I think on campus townhouses and apartments (like North Apartments) are going to be integral for this reason.