Tech Village prepares to open the doors of its newly renovated apartments to students this week as the first phase of the residential construction project nears completion.
The long-term plan, however, includes building more than student housing.
“Community is the most important thing to me,” Richard Barns, TTU associate director of Residential Life, said. “We have a strong community here now, but we really feel that the upgrades along with some of the program ideas that we have will enhance that.”
Barn’s vision is to transform the Tech Village Commons into a full-service facility performing social, educational, and administrative functions.
Part of this vision includes taking the learning and living village concept— already in practice at a number of residence halls— and implementing it at Tech Village.
“For years you’ve heard people say, ‘we don’t call them dormitories, we call them residence halls,'” Barns said. “With the villages concept, we’re really making that distinction. Once you begin teaching courses in a residential facility, they’re no longer dormitories; they’re residence halls and it’s a community where you live, work, and play.”
Barns says he expects this more holistic approach to remodeling the complex to have several positive effects at Tech, the least of which being an increase in the student retention rate.
The construction project, which began last October, was initially prompted by concerns expressed by the Fire Marshal.
As a result, the new cost-efficient one- and two-bedroom apartment suites, ranging in price from $650 to $900 per month, feature various fire safety improvements in addition to general upgrades such as enhanced lighting of the property, larger water heaters, more kitchen space, and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Other amenities include Wi-Fi internet access, basic cable, telephone capabilities, and full-size kitchen appliances.
Residents also have free access to a computer lab, laundry mat, patio and community center space and utilities, basketball and volleyball courts, and CATS transportation services.
Barns said he expects that more apartments and an expanded community center will be ready for residents in the coming months.
The projected total cost for renovation of the 304 units and additional facilities is between $22 million and $25 million.
For more information, contact Tech Village Reservationist Maggie Hooks at (931) 372-3271 or visit www.tntech.edu/reslife/techvillage.