UNL to Reopen Pound Hall to Meet Demand for On-campus Housing

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- The University of Nebraska-Lincoln will reopen Pound Hall this fall in response to high student demand for on-campus housing.

The university had taken the residence hall offline earlier this year as it prepared the opening of the 521-bed Eastside Suites residence hall at 19th and R streets.

However, based on the number of housing contracts received so far this summer, officials now estimate space will be needed for 100 to 200 more students in the fall. UNL has turned to the 51-year-old hall at 513 N. 17th St. to handle the demand.

About six of the hall's 12 floors will be prepared for use in the fall, said Sue Gildersleeve, UNL's director of housing.

The precise number of students who will live on campus this fall is difficult to calculate exactly at this point on the calendar, Gildersleeve said.

However, housing staff has a clear enough picture to know the university will need to activate more housing space when the fall semester begins Aug. 25.

"We don't want to be in the position of having to turn anyone away," she said. "In years past we've used social and study lounges in some of our halls to provide temporary overflow housing, but it's better for the students if we're able to provide a regular room assignment for the academic year.

"We're fortunate to be able to bring Pound Hall back into service for one more year."

It is the second time in the last two academic years that residence halls that had been scheduled to be taken offline have been reopened. Last year, UNL re-activated Cather Hall to accommodate a larger-than-expected number of students who wished to live on campus.

In previous years when housing requests have exceeded capacity, students were assigned temporary quarters in converted lounges in traditional residence halls. Officials considered that option again this year, but decided that opening up rooms in Pound was the best overall option. The decision allows hall residents to use their lounges for their intended purposes -- as study, meeting and socializing spots.

"These spaces are important for building community and supporting academic success," Gildersleeve said.