UIS needs room to grow

By Kelsey Gibbs | kgibbs@wcia.com

Published 07/17 2014 05:07PM

Updated 07/17 2014 05:31PM

SPRINGFIELD -- Good news for the University of Illinois-Springfield, more students are taking classes. But, that could eventually lead to a problem. There won't be enough housing to handle the new students. WCIA-3's Kelsey Gibbs finds out, it's a good problem to have.

The Springfield campus is surrounded by a lot of cornfields, so university leaders hope to use that land with the help of a private investor to build additional student housing.

James Cochran is a senior at UIS. He really enjoys living on campus.

"Access to study labs, study groups, tutors. Everything you would need is pretty much on this campus to succeed."

Cochran says living on campus has also made him become more responsible.

"As far as living on campus, we have washing facilities. Those in the rest area have access to dining facilities."

UIS wants all students to have that same experience, but in a few years, the student population is expected to grow and Chancellor Susan Kock says more space is needed.

"But, we're having a significant increase in students who are interested in a residential environment so they can really embrace the total experience of student life."

Right now, this looks like an ordinary cornfield, but on 11th and Vachel Lindsey the campus wants to build new student housing.

"What we are also working on, and some options that would help us in the coming years, one of those options is to partner with a developer to build some additional student housing right across the street from the campus."

Cochran says every student deserves a chance to live on campus.

"I would say, definitely, they will lose out on some of the opportunities, like there are some student jobs."

The university is also in discussions about purchasing property downtown. It would accommodate graduate students who work out of the Capitol.

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