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Demand for campus housing spikes at UW-Madison

Plans are in the works to double and triple up on the number of students per room.
Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 6:43 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 14, 2021 at 7:33 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - UW-Madison housing officials say they’re expecting an increase in students living on campus this upcoming school year.

Many of them are incoming freshman and right now, the university is working to make room in the dorms.

“Students are excited to have that on campus experience,” said Brendon Dybdahl, Director of Marketing & Communications for UW-Madison’s Division of University Housing.

The campus is seeing a high demand for student housing. “Two years ago, we opened at about 8,000 students and this year we’re expecting to open at about 8,500 students,” said Dybdahl.

The new demand means there will be some changes to make room for more dorm residents. This includes adding space in the Lowell Center, which used to be an on- campus hotel, and before that it was a private residence hall.

There will also be more students per room.

“We’ve also increased the number of triples and quads that we’re using this year. Certain rooms that had more space were converted into a triple or maybe a study lounge or a den was converted into a quad,” said Dybdahl.

Housing officials don’t expect this to cause any issues and say students tend to enjoy the social aspect of more people to a room.

Meanwhile, residential life officials at UW-Whitewater have different priorities this Fall as they rebound from COVID-19 restrictions.

Frank Bartlett, UW-Whitewater’s Executive Director of University Housing says Whitewater’s numbers are not the same as UW-Madison’s.

With more students commuting to campus, there’s more housing availability.

“It’s going to take a little bit longer to rebuild our student population in the residence halls so we’re offering more singles this year in the Fall, allowing for a little more personal space,” said Bartlett.

He says the pandemic has resulted in difficulties fiscally in the housing department and the focus is rebounding. “We’re trying to offset our challenges with more opportunities,” said Bartlett.

UW-Platteville also says it’s not seeing the same demand for housing as UW-Madison. Campus officials say they’re working to finalize plans to welcome back students and will have more information available in early August.

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