Campus houses removed to build new apartments

Campus houses removed to build new apartments
Jenna Bump

Augustana cleared four houses near campus to make way for the construction of new campus apartments, which will feature community-style living.

While planning is still in its preliminary stages, the apartments will contribute to Augustana’s variety of living communities.

According to Augustana President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, construction is slated to begin in the spring of 2023 and expected completion is set for fall 2024.

According to Jenna Bump, the director of housing, the new layouts may feature studio apartments, four-bedroom apartments or a mix of both with a multi-purpose space on the ground floor. This floor could feature laundry space, office space or study rooms.

Campus Safety may also relocate to the ground floor of the new apartment buildings as the Morrison commons is renovated. However, a final decision has not been made.

Bump said she is excited to see more living spaces available to Augustana’s juniors and seniors.

“I think it adds more options for upperclass students who maybe want to get out of the dorms but still want to stay on campus,” she said.

ASA President Sara Alhasnawi said she believes the new apartments will alleviate the housing stress some upperclassmen face.

“As housing currently works, the existing apartments are very competitive to get among upperclassmen, so having more options would ease the burden off of students to find housing nearby,” Alhasnawi said.

Before the bulldozer could begin leveling the house on Sept. 28, the Sioux Falls Fire Department used one house for training exercises for its firefighters.

The firefighters practiced cutting into the attic space and roof line with equipment generally reserved for active fires.

Rick Tupper, the associate vice president for campus safety and logistics, said he notifies the fire department whenever a campus property is set for demolition so that members can perform training exercises.

“They don’t have a lot of opportunities to train without worrying about damaging something,” Tupper said.

Of the four houses along Grange Avenue and north of 28th Street, three were donated to the South Eastern Council of Governments, an organization that facilitates responsible community planning and economic development in Sioux Falls. The council moved the houses on Sept. 28 and will renovate them for affordable housing on the east side of town.

The fourth house was demolished because it was ineligible for donation due to the awkward shape and the concrete slab on which it was built.