This rendering shows what the new apartment-style residence hall will look like on the Trine University campus.

ANGOLA — A new 28,000-square-foot student apartment building will give Trine University housing for 100 or so more students, with the hope of being open for the fall 2021 semester.

The development plan for the building was approved Oct. 12 by the Angola Plan Commission for the project that will be located on the north side of Thunder Drive, north of the MTI Center on campus.

One commission member, Josh Fletcher, abstained from voting on the project because he is a full-time employee of the university.

“Despite the pandemic, we saw record enrollment again this fall,” said Gretchen Miller, chief of staff and vice president of administration at Trine University.

To start the school year, the university had to house students at the Wingate by Wyndham hotel, as there wasn’t enough housing immediately available on campus for everyone.

“Needless to say, we will be out of housing again in the fall of 2021,” Miller said.

The building will be a three-story apartment structure with housing for around 100 students and approximately 28,000 square feet of finished space.

A media release from the university said the board of trustees approved the new building at its Oct. 9 meeting. The cost at that meeting was said to be $5.5 million.

The new building will feature apartment-style residences similar to the university’s Reiners and Stadium residence halls and will include carpeted rooms that will accommodate two students, a private bath and air conditioning.

Students will share an open space and kitchen located on the main level of the building. The new building also will include a parking lot.

Miller said the parking lot for the building was previously approved when plans for the MTI Center were approved.

In accordance with its comprehensive strategic plan, the university will demolish one of the older dormitory-style units on campus in conjunction with construction of the new facility said a university media release.

As its residential student body has expanded, Trine University has made significant investments in residence facilities, with much of the current campus housing built in the last 12 years. The university most recently opened the Stadium Hall residence hall in the fall of 2018 said the release.

One of the only concerns, which was addressed by Justin Hoffman, civil design engineer with T.E. Inc., Fort Wayne, was one brought up in the plan review comments by Fire Chief T.R. Hagerty.

Hagerty’s concern was access for the fire department to be able to maneuver trucks through the parking lot should the need arise.

Commission Member Gene Burd then asked about sprinklers in the facility and he was assured that yes, the residence hall will have a sprinkler system installed.

Hoffman said Monday it would be tight, but that fire trucks will fit and be able to maneuver even with the parking lot for the structure occupied without hitting any parked vehicles.

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