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Release: March 14, 2001

UI proposes 6.2 percent residence hall increase

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa plans to propose a 6.2 percent increase in residence hall rates when the Board of Regents, State of Iowa meets Wednesday and Thursday, March 21-22, at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. The proposed increase would be used to provide a number of value-added services for students, says Maggie Van Oel, director of Residence Services.

If the Regents approve the increase for the 2001-02 academic year, double-room and full board (meals) rates would increase to $4,671 from $4,398 per person, per year. The single room and full board rate would increase to $5,168 from $4,869. The Regents are not expected to vote on the proposal until their April meeting.

Van Oel said the rate increase would offset the costs of adding services and upgrading facilities. As an example, it would help to pay for projects in Hillcrest Residence Hall, including the replacement of windows, and a recently completed food service upgrade there, she said.

Students currently benefit from various value-added services, such as in-room Ethernet connections, Van Oel said. Citing Hillcrest as an example of ongoing renovations throughout the nine residence halls, Van Oel said the number of air conditioning units in the 433-room facility has increased to 284 from 15 in 1998-99 and will reach 392 by fall 2001. The rate increase will also lead to other improved amenities, such as more loftable wooden furniture and new carpet, said Dicta Schoenfelder, manager of the housing office.

The department will continue to paint student rooms and to modernize elevators and restroom facilities, such as the bathroom project to begin in Currier Residence Hall this summer.

The UI will continue the installation of state-of-the-art fire protection systems as part of a major, on-going project, which includes suppression systems (sprinklers). The fire protection upgrades allow staff to pinpoint the location of a sounding alarm and to respond more quickly in cases of an emergency. Recently, Residence Services completed fire safety upgrade projects at Hillcrest and Mayflower Residence Halls and plan similar improvements in the other seven buildings, with work already begun in Currier and Stanley.

The residence halls student government -- Associated Residence Halls (ARH) -- approved this year's proposed rate increase and was consulted about projects planned within the next 10 years. As a voting body, ARH representatives help to determine how the proposed rates should be spread over the various room configurations, using students' requests for amenities as a guide.