Since moving in, many new residents of the Riverview Apartments have noticed construction on the plot of land next to Building A, but few have known for sure what is actually being built.
“I’ve been hoping for either a pool, a gym or a restaurant,” Building B resident and senior Katie Bartolotta said.
The reality of the project, however, may fall short of these glamorous hopes — it is in fact intended to house a community meeting space, a Resident Assistant’s apartment and an office for Security.
“It’s a relatively small structure,” Executive Director of Project Management José Fernandez said. “It’s basically finishing up the final phase of the Riverview Apartment project.”
Regent, the same company that originally built the five-building, 120-unit complex, is also carrying out the construction on this last building.
The cost of the entire complex was originally estimated at $25 million, and this building is included in that figure. Thus these costs will not have any impact on housing costs for future Riverview residents.
“This ancillary building was envisioned as part of the original Riverview concept, and the developers are completing it now,” Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer Ronald Paprocki said.
Riverview is not actually owned by the University, making it an unusual component of student housing. It is privately owned by Regent and is rented out indefinitely to the University. For this reason, the building is equipped with air conditioning, wireless Internet and other amenities that many dormitories do not have. It also means that its costs do not affect tuition increases because they are taken on by the developer and not the school.
The current building project began at the start of September and it is hoped that it will be complete by Dec. 1.
The building will begin being used this coming spring semester, allowing students from all Riverview buildings a communal meeting place.
Whether or not students actually make use of this meeting place is yet to be seen.
“I think there’s enough communal space on campus,” Bartolotta said. “I don’t feel the need to convene with all Riverview residents.”
However, other aspects of the new building are likely to be welcomed. Security will be able to have a space on the Riverview complex that is not on wheels and RAs will be provided with needed living space.
According to Fernandez, it is unlikely that further expansions will be made to Riverview, meaning the completion of this building will be the end of nearly four years of work put into the Riverview complex.
However, due to recent housing constraints that have left many students unwillingly off-campus — as well as the general success with which the Riverview Apartments have been met — discussions are in the works about creating more housing opportunities in the areas across the Genesee River.
“There are discussions about potentially looking at additional units in that area but not necessarily part of the Riverview campus or site,” Fernandez said.
Healy is a member of the class of 2011.