After an enrollment bump caused overcrowding at the University of Idaho’s residence halls, some students were asked to live in an off-campus hotel until rooms opened up.
As of Tuesday morning, 89 students were living at the FairBridge Inn on Baker Street, said John Kosh, UI Auxiliary Services director of business development, marketing and communications.
Of those students, 23 were expected to move out of the hotel Wednesday and Thursday, Kosh said. He said the university is working to make sure all have moved out of FairBridge Inn by the end of September.
“We want them on campus,” he said. “We want them a part of the environment and the rich culture that the University of Idaho brings.”
Currently, UI residence halls can hold a maximum of 2,013 people. Kosh said students were assigned rooms in the order they applied for housing. Once the number of students exceeded 2,013, the UI turned to FairBridge Inn for assistance.
Freshman Miles Tate knew it was coming. He has been living at FairBridge since the start of the semester, but is planning to move into a fraternity today so he can live on campus sooner.
Tate said he is fine with his hotel living situation. While standing in the 90-degree heat Wednesday, he said his FairBridge Inn room has one advantage many dorm rooms don’t have: air conditioning.
“That is my saving grace right now,” he said.
He also appreciates the close proximity to places like McDonald’s and WinCo. He said it is only about an eight-minute walk to campus.
Still, Tate said he is excited to move into a fraternity and move out of his cramped hotel room.
Kosh said rooms are opening on campus thanks to what he called housing “melt.” After the first several days of classes, beds become available for a variety of reasons. Some students, like Tate, decide to live in fraternities or sororities. Some decide at the last minute not to attend the university altogether. Some residents living on campus were given the opportunity to take on a roommate at a cheaper price.
Kosh said usually by the 10th day of classes, the UI has a clearer picture of its overall enrollment and its on-campus residents.
Kosh said the university planned to provide a moving truck and staff to help students move out of FairBridge Inn on Wednesday and today.
He said the university faced a similar situation a decade ago when an overflow of students required some of them to live at what was then called the Idaho Inn, now called the Empire.
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