Construction has started at Stony Brook University on a new residence hall project that will give the campus more student housing than any other school in the SUNY system when it's completed by the fall of 2016, university officials said Monday.
University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said in a news release that the project is "an important step to address the growing housing and dining needs of our students."
Stony Brook University had 20,044 full-time students enrolled in the fall of 2013, according to the school's website.
Student population has held steady in recent years, but high demand for on-campus housing has led to a large number of rooms being filled with three students, Stony Brook University spokeswoman Lauren Sheprow said.
"People apply for on-campus housing and based on the numbers of those requests we receive, we end up tripling students in a room that is pretty much a standard double," Sheprow said.
The university's goal is to eliminate tripling, but it's not certain if the additional housing will be sufficient, Sheprow said, adding that the cost of constructing and equipping the two buildings will be repaid through student housing fees.
When the project on John S. Toll Drive is completed, there will be 759 more dorm rooms for students. The total number of beds on campus will top 10,300, officials said. Construction is being done in two phases. The first, at a total cost of $90 million, will be a 303-bed residence hall and a 60,000-square-foot dining facility, officials said.
The new development is located on a section of campus that was previously a wooded area with several walking paths to the Mendelsohn Quad, which will occupy its eastern border.
An 800-seat dining hall will replace nearly all of the food services at the Stony Brook Union. The dining space at the union will be converted into student services facilities, officials said.
Construction on the second phase of the project is expected to begin in December, and will be adjacent to the first building and include an additional 456 beds. The cost of the second facility was not available Monday.
The residence halls will consist of single private rooms within suites for upperclassmen, Sheprow said.