Wilberforce University to add new dorms amid growing enrollment

A local university east of Xenia is planning a multimillion-dollar project to construct new dorms amid significant enrollment growth.

Wilberforce University in Greene County will begin construction on a first 10-unit complex on the south edge of campus near Bickett Road, the university announced last week. The new dorm is the first of six planned residence halls at the small university, housing 33 students each.

The construction is motivated in part because of growing enrollment at the university, school officials said. Wilberforce reported in August that 550 students would begin their fall semester at the private Historically Black College/University, a 29% increase from last year.

Each of the six residence halls will measure 5,124 square feet and will offer access to Wi-Fi, a kitchen, and individual laundry facilities, and will have a more modern aesthetic compared to the brick and mortar exterior of most of the campus.

Construction on the first dorm is expected to be completed by December, with three more built by the fall of next year.

The enrollment increase prompted university officials to “consider a quick way to house more students,” the university said in the announcement, adding that some students were placed in off-campus apartments leased by the university as a result. Creating new on-campus living spaces will “connect more students to their collegiate surroundings,” officials said.

“These pre-made dorms are a great solution to our housing issue,” said Wilberforce President Vann R. Newkirk. “We will save money by not paying any more rent for other housing, we have furniture that has been in storage from other shuttered dorms, and we are ready to begin a campaign that will help raise additional capital.”

A groundbreaking will take place on Sept. 29, across from the Alumni Complex on Bickett Road.

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