El Sereno -- A new dorm that would house 1,500 Cal State LA students and more than double the number of people living on campus is on track to be completed on Aug. 1, according to campus officials.
The new dorms that loom over the 710 Freeway are long overdue, according to some students who have lived on campus.
Valerie Ruiz, who has lived in the existing dorms, said they are dated, “old, not nice.” So the new dorms will be good for incoming students.
“New dorms. New atmosphere,” she said. “With new dorms, students will want to live that on-campus life” — getting involved more in clubs and in their studies.
Student Housing East, as the $202 million complex is called, is nothing like the university's existing dorms. Instead of one- and two-story, garden-style apartments, the new dorm buildings rise eight floors and are arranged around a plaza. A pedestrian bridge will link the dorms to the rest of the campus.
The nearly 360,000-square-foot project “will also provide community and study lounges, a health and wellness zone, and a learning center,” Leonard Edmond, university housing director, wrote in an email.
The health and wellness center will include a yoga, workout and meditation room, according to the university’s website. The housing complex will also have dining commons, a convenience market and a community kitchen.
The learning center is equipped with study rooms, classroom space, and areas to practice music, according to the university.
Student Housing East will only be for freshmen and sophomores while the existing “apartment-style residential facilities in Phases I and II and the Golden Eagle Apartments will continue to house upper division and graduate students,” according to the university.
Facts & Figures about the new Cal State LA Dorms
• Size: 1,500 beds and 359,145-square-feet of space
• Estimated Cost: $202 million
• Parking: 340 parking spaces will be designated for the new dorms (first-year students are not eligible for parking)
• Bathrooms: 12 community bathrooms and three single bathrooms per floor for a total of 80 community bathrooms and 20 single bathrooms.
• Room & Board: $4,856 for the semester. An optional 7-day meal plan costs $2,250; a 5-day meal plan is $2,050.
The existing dorms have more than 1,000 bed spaces. So, once the new dorms open, the campus will be able to house up to nearly 2,600 students.
Lauren Diana, a Cal State LA student who is majoring in Women's, Gender, Sexuality Studies, said she hasn’t seen the new dorms but living in campus housing for two years before the pandemic helped her find a community.
“I loved the environment of living with new people, which helped me a lot to develop new friendships,” she said. “If students have the opportunity and luxury to move [into a dorm], I would highly recommend it.”
Ethan Axtell is a reported for University Times, the student news site of Cal State L.A.