UW Housing borrows building from WLU to handle an overflow of students for the upcoming term
Waterloo Central Place to be temporary addition to the UW residence family
This September, a new UW residence will be open for business to combat the overflow of first-year students.
Approximately 15 per cent more first-years will descend upon UW residences than originally anticipated. The new residence, dubbed Waterloo Central Place (WCP), is being leased from Laurier which, conveniently, is under-enrolled for the upcoming school year, leaving their Lester Street residence unoccupied.
According to Glen Weppler at the campus housing and residence office, the new residence is temporary and not part of the “long term vision.” The building is being rented from WLU for eight months (September to April). It is an apartment/suite-style residence comprised of four buildings with free laundry and basic cable. It will house around 284 first year UW students. The free laundry is a perk that is unique for UW residences, being thrown in to keep consistency with WLU residence policies.
Over-enrolment is an issue not new to the housing office — a similar situation occurred in 2007. The solution then saw rooms in Ron Edyt Village (REV) converted from double rooms to triples and a no-longer existing building on Phillip Street that was rented by UW.
WCP, located at the corner of Lester Street and Seagram Drive, is an approximate 10-minute walk from South Campus Hall which, according to Weppler, is the same distance from the nearest academic building as REV. Weppler said living in a more off-campus residence is “part of the learning experience.
“At the application phase, [students] are more attracted to suite-style space. But once they get here, students communicate more satisfaction and engagement in traditional-style residence,” Weppler said. “The space has certain advantages that other residence buildings don’t have,” he said citing the close proximity to uptown Waterloo and the “park-like setting” as factors that will attract incoming students to WCP.
Students living in WCP will have access to a community centre in one of the four building and will also be free to use the community centre in UWP.
When asked about the possibility of a new, permanent UW residence, Weppler said it is not in the cards.
“At this stage, I have no reason to believe that we will be in this situation next year.” He added that opening a new residence will be part of a larger conversation that the university as a whole has to have.