LAFAYETTE — Come move-in day next week at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, some 150 students will be checking into the Crowne Plaza hotel instead of a dorm room.
Demand for on-campus rooms prompted the university to book an entire floor and half of another floor at the Pinhook Road hotel to house students for the fall semester, said Christine Payton, ULL spokeswoman.
“The good news is that we have a lot of students who want to live on campus,” Payton said.
More than 2,000 students will be living on ULL’s campus when the fall semester starts Aug. 22, and at least 100 more are on a standby list awaiting a requested type of room or residence hall, Payton stated in an email response.
While the university’s housing stock is similar to last year’s, the university saw an increase in housing applicants, Payton said.
An anticipated large enrollment for the fall semester may have contributed to the influx in housing applicants, she said.
The university is anticipating its largest freshman class since selective admissions began in 1999, she said.
Last fall, 2,948 first-time freshmen enrolled, according to university enrollment data. This year’s enrollment figures are not yet available.
In late December, construction on the first of two new dorms began along Taft Street. The first building, known as Baker Hall, is capable of housing more than 400 students.
The building’s first residents — members of the football and soccer teams — moved in last week, said William Crist, ULL director of facility management.
Other residents will move into the new building Thursday.
Crist said the second building is scheduled to open Jan. 1, but is ahead of schedule.
The new beds at the dorms will offset the loss of beds in older dormitories for women that are closed this semester to make way for more new housing.
The entire $78 million housing construction project involves the major renovations of three existing dorms and new construction to replace two older dorms in the residential area of campus known as the Rose Garden.
The Rose Garden work is scheduled for completion by August 2012, Crist said.
The students housed at the Crowne Plaza will be among the first to have the option to move into the second new dorm on Taft Street, which will be complete by the end of the year.
Payton said the Crowne Plaza option costs the same as living in the new Taft Street dormitories. A shared room with a private bath and a meal plan in a Taft Street residence hall is $4,039 or $3,909 a semester, depending upon which meal plan is selected.
Students staying at the hotel will have all the amenities of an on-campus stay, Payton said.
Hotel rooms will be converted into study rooms, a computer lab and a lounge area. Student meals will also be served at the hotel, and shuttle buses will transport the students between their temporary home and campus.
Payton said residence hall advisers and a female university police officer will live on-site with the students.
The hotel stay isn’t all-inclusive.
Maid service for bed linen changes will be offered, but students are on their own when it comes to chores like laundry, Payton said.