Enrollment Declines, Housing Not Affected
Spring is in full swing and it comes with the sound of construction. The main project that is visible from campus is the apartments being built north of the stadium.
Apartment buildings are popping up all over Rexburg which leads to the question, by the time these are expected to be finished in 2014, will we have enough students to fill them?”
Val Christensen, the community development director, says that a 10-15% vacancy rate is considered healthy for the community, “Obviously you can’t keep a place completely full cause when somebody moves out it takes a while to get somebody in when you have somebody else move out. Especially when you have a lot of different units, you’re going to have some vacancy rate.”
The Planning and Zoning Dept. expects Rexburg to grow over the next few years.
Christensen says that in single student housing, there are more rooms than students to fill them, “That’s based on the LDS churches decision to lower the missionary age”.
But what do the changes in missionary age mean for campus housing in the coming years?
“It goes up and down its hard to follow the line especially when you have something like the missionary decision.” Says Christensen
Jon Phister, Owner and Developer Relations Manager at BYU-Idaho says, “With this missionary announcement, that’s affected things quite a bit, were going to need more housing because when all these missionaries come back we need a place for them to stay.”
Developers are busy making sure that those students will have a bed to sleep in once they’ve returned.