New luxuries, amenities set to highlight life at The Village

Construction on Oswego’s first apartment style living units has continued to roll along, with expectations still set on a fall 2010 grand opening.

The new complex, named the Village, will feature a community of 350 students living together.

The townhouses are expected to only be available to upper-class students, meaning juniors, seniors and possibly grad students

"What we are trying to accomplish and provide is different options for the upper-class students," Rick Kolenda, interim director of Residence Life and Housing said.

Kolenda said the apartment style townhouses will be a place where students will be able to build a community and be an example for the underclassmen who may also be living there in the future.

The townhouses will accommodate full size beds and furniture. Each unit also has a common living room, kitchen and bathroom with appliances and basic furniture.

"The bedrooms will include a desk, lamp and user friendly closets that are not built in, but can be made to the liking of each resident. "It will give students different configurations," Kolenda said. The rooms are going to be split evenly between the two floors. The only furniture that will not be included is a garbage disposal and each townhouse will have wireless internet.

Despite initial concerns among students about the parking situation, The Village will feature parking spaces accommodating up to 170 vehicles on either side of the townhouses and Centro buses will stop near the townhouses.

A large aspect to life in The Village will be devoted to living "green," as well as the complex’s effect on the environment. A 1000-watt windmill is planned for construction near the townhouses for educational purposes and there will also be a composting location to create a place where students can become ecologically friendly.

Unlike living on-campus, students who will reside in The Village will not be required to have a meal plan. A café and community center, which is similar to a recreational center, will be part of The Village community where residents are also able to have entertainment.

The café is also arranged where students have a ‘grab and go’ system for those who need to grab a quick snack such as fruits, pastries, coffee and other drinks before classes, Kolenda said. Students can use either cash or a Plus Plan if they have a meal plan.

While most students have yet to discover some of the amenities to be featured in the complex, the excitement surrounding the townhouses has been steadily building.

"I absolutely love the idea of The Village; I pass by it everyday and get excited about the development of it," Oswego State sophomore student Erin Cummings said. "I would definitely love to live there next year."

"I love The Village, I wish there were more places like it on-campus," said Mark Taitt, a current junior. "It makes you realize how important it is to be part of a community."

"Some of the ideas are bringing professional chefs either from the on-campus dining halls or off-campus restaurants to provide students with cooking lessons on how to prepare easy and healthy quick meals," Kolenda said. "Another idea is letting the career placement office hold an etiquette dinner to teach students the manners they should bring to the table."

Though there are residential areas on campus like Hart Hall that require classes and assignments in order to reside there, The Village’s only requirement is upperclassmen standing. "A priority list is currently being worked on to make the decisions of the 350 students that will have the privilege to live in The Village," Kolenda said. Co-ed options are also currently being considered but are not as of yet formally informed. General neutral housing is at the discussion point."

The green effort isn’t expected to end with the environmental effort either, it might even help students save some green in their wallets as well. Currently being considered is that residents who reside in The Village will have the Oswego guarantee as far as the costs for the housing. This means that whatever a student paid for his room freshman year, he will pay in The Village as a junior or senior.

Despite many students still in the dark regarding most of the features expecting to grace the apartment complex, Kolenda remains confident the Village will be a hit among the student population

"We are really excited about this project and hope that students will take advantage and also look forward to it," Kolenda said.