UWG will soon say goodbye to one of its oldest buildings, Tyus Hall. After the 2019-2020 academic year Tyus will be torn down.
If this sounds a little familiar, that is because it is. There was a similar plan a few years ago where Tyus Hall was going to be torn down to make more parking spaces. That plan also involved building a brand new residence hall right behind the Arbor View Apartments. The building would have been a similar style to The Oaks residence hall.
The reason the university was going to build another residence hall was that it had funding from the University System of Georgia (USG), but USG’s plan fell through and the funding ran out before the construction could even begin. But there were doubts about the plan before that.
If UWG went through with building another dorm, the cost of living would have dramatically increased; so much so that housing officials doubted if students would even be able to afford it. If UWG built this dorm and students stayed elsewhere because of the cost, then the university would have acquired a heavy amount of debt. This time around, there is a new plan with new intentions by UWG officials.
There are three main reasons for Tyus’ scheduled demolition. The first reason being that not many students are living in Tyus. According to Stephen Whitlock, the Director of Housing and Residence Life, student interest in Tyus has been decreasing for several years, and the University is not going to pay for upkeep on a dormitory that students do not live in.
The second reason is that the building is old and it would cost the University too much money to renovate the building to bring it up to code than with the newer buildings. The third and most important reason is that there is a plan in the works for UWG to rent off-campus apartments to stay in.
“As we take 190 beds at Tyus offline, we would also have beds off-campus that we would manage and place our students in, and RAs (resident assistants) and manage them like we do on campus,” said Whitlock.
This plan is that some of the off-campus housing will technically be treated as on-campus housing, will come with some drastic changes to how and where students are housed. However, one of the goals for this new housing situation is not to increase the housing costs, but rather give students quality living quarters.
“I would hope that the deal that we could offer would be equal to or less than what they’re currently paying,” Whitlock said.
The deal that the university is making is complicated. UWG does not yet know if any of the off-campus apartments would want to take part in this partnership, and if they did, the price negotiations would be another issue to take care of.
At the moment, this new housing deal and Tyus Hall’s demolition go hand in hand; but they do not have to. Tyus Hall will still most likely be torn down even if a deal with off-campus apartments are not made, and if there are students that enroll without Tyus being there, UWG is prepared to put students in other places, even in hotels if need be. The demolition will take place in August of 2020.