Campus housing project plans are in the works as UCSB continues the struggle to accommodate faculty, graduate students and student families in need of inexpensive living quarters.
There are designs for graduate student housing to be built between Storke Field and Santa Ynez Apartments, which could be completed in 2005. This housing facility, called San Clemente apartments, will include 972 beds and parking spaces.
“San Clemente is something we have been wanting to do for a very long time and we are at a point of site approval in November,” Associate Vice Chancellor for Administration Services Everett Kirkelie said.
The Campus Planning Commission will discuss site approval on Oct. 30.
Graduate students, who comprise 13 percent of UCSB’s population, currently live in some units available to them in Santa Ynez, West Campus and Storke family apartments. The graduate student apartments are full and have a two-year waiting list, Graduate Student Association Internal President Shawn Landres said.
Santa Barbara’s high cost of living can make recruiting graduate students difficult.
“The Graduate Student Association has been fighting for graduate student housing for years,” Landres said. “The fact that we don’t have enough housing for them means we lose nationally-competitive graduate students to other institutions because other institutions can offer them housing.”
Landres said UCSB should either provide more affordable housing or increase financial support for graduate students.
“The stipends that the graduate students receive [are] worth less than other institutions because of the market that we live in as compared to other [cheaper] markets,” he said.
Recruiting faculty has also been a problem, Faculty Housing Coordinator Linda Toomey said, because the 65 condominiums offered to faculty that UCSB has tried to recruit are filled and have a waiting list. The university owns the land and sells the condos to faculty members.
“Many times, because of the high cost of housing in the community, [faculty] don’t accept the job, so it makes recruitment very difficult,” Toomey said. “The median price for housing is over $600,000 and our faculty salaries aren’t high enough for them to afford housing. It is harder to recruit than it has ever been before.”
The university is also trying to build more faculty housing complexes.
“We are in a joint planning effort with the County of Santa Barbara and we purchased, in 1994, 174 acres that is adjacent to our West Campus and surrounds Ocean Meadows Golf Course with the anticipation of building faculty housing,” Kirkelie said.
The West Campus and Storke family housing complexes provide 592 student family apartments. The university is in the process of approving plans to expand the West Campus student family apartments by another 150 apartments.
“West Campus student family apartments have been there for 30 years and there are approximately 250 apartments that we currently rent to student families,” Kirkelie said. “We will be expanding those onto the driving range and we hope to get all of this going a year from this spring. So it would probably be built in 2005.”
There are also 50-55 apartments available to new faculty in the Storke family housing complexes in case they have not yet found housing in the community, said Jill Hurd, director of apartment and community living.
“These are transitional housing units,” Hurd said, “that give new faculty two years to settle in and get used to their job and look for a place in town.”