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On-campus housing for University of Arizona students starts to take shape
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On-campus housing for University of Arizona students starts to take shape

From the May's Tucson-area coronavirus coverage: Cases rise, judge rules that state can keep nursing home data from public series

The University of Arizona is continuing with its housing application process although a final decision about on-campus living arrangements has yet to be made.

However, should housing open as expected for the upcoming school year, undergraduates will be met with increased costs for campus living.

A breakdown of the dorms shows the percentage increase in rates for each grouping of students. The adjustments are based on double and some triple rooms.

  • Students living in Babcock, Cochise (triple room), Coconino, Hopi, Kaibab-Huachuca, Maricopa (triple room) and Navajo-Pinal will pay $6,417, or $80 more in the 2021 fiscal year. The rate is a 1.2% increase.
  • Students living in Apache-Santa Cruz, Cochise, Gila, Graham-Greenlee, Manzanita-Mohave, Maricopa, Pima, Yavapai and Yuma will pay $7,297 — an extra $180, which is an increase of 2.5%.
  • Students living in Arizona-Sonora, Árbol de la Vida, Coronado, Likins, Colonia de la Paz, Posada San Pedro, Pueblo de la Cienega and Villa Del Puente will pay $8,877 — an additional $310, which is a 3.6% increase.

There are no increases for graduate student housing. The UA says its single-room offerings are 150% of double-room rates.

There will likely be capacity limits in the 23 campus dorms for the upcoming academic year, according to UA President Robert Robbins.

“I think the most likely option would be one or two people per room,” Robbins said in a press conference last week.

The cleaning measures implemented for the approximately 600 students that remained on campus during the spring will remain in place in the fall.

Common areas like hallways, reception areas, stairways, elevators and entrances will receive daily “thorough cleaning and disinfecting,” the UA’s Facilities Management office said.

The office has also ordered 1,000 units of hand sanitizer to install throughout the campus.

OFF-CAMPUS HOUSING

For off-campus sites such as the Sahara Apartments, 919 N. Stone Ave., 173 studio apartments will be ready for students after completing $2.5 million in renovations by August 1.

Ross Hubbard, chief sales officer, says updated common areas, including a revamped pool and lounge area, will come with any guidelines still in effect from Gov. Doug Ducey’s office.

“We’re increasing the amount of cleaning of commonly touched surfaces and hand door handles inside and out and increasing cleaning the common areas and making sure that everything’s nice and sanitized,” Hubbard said. “We will recommend that the students and the tenants that are there follow those guidelines that are being put out by the health department as just best practices. But there’s nothing that we’re specifically going to be regulating or policing.”

The rent ranges from $625 to $850 depending on apartment floor plans, the website said.

HOUSING CONTRACTS

The UA is prepared to honor or refund housing agreements however the campus operations look like in the fall. There are three scenarios for students in the fall when it comes to the $200 rent down payment and associated fees.

UA says if:

  • Classes and university operations return to normal for the fall semester — Application fees are nonrefundable and rent down payments are refundable only if the housing application is canceled before the student is assigned to a room.
  • All classes remain online-only for the fall semester, but the dorms are still open and available — Application fees are nonrefundable. Rent down payments will be refunded if the housing application is canceled by the deadline provided if/when a decision is made to keep classes online-only.
  • All classes remain online-only for the fall semester or other circumstances result in the UA’s inability to provide housing in the dorms — Application fee and rent down payment will be refunded.

At the Sahara Apartments, Hubbard said “we’re not charging any application or administrative fees now so you can prelease without risk and you can get into an opportunity to rent out a place and secure a place without putting any money into it until you’re ready to make that deposit and commit to the lease.”

If the semester starts on Aug. 24, “in some capacity” then the lease will be honored, according to Hubbard.

“If a semester can’t continue, we’re going to honor that exit and have a termination without penalty there because we don’t want to have any consequence impacting these folks, more than what’s already happening to them by no fault of their own,” Hubbard said.

Contact Star reporter Shaq Davis at 573-4218 or sdavis@tucson.com

On Twitter: @ShaqDavis1.

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