Dr. Tony Earls
associate dean for Student Affairs and director of Student Life, 308.865.8519

In only three sign-up days, University of Nebraska at Kearney students who plan to return to the campus in the fall reserved all of the 332 available rooms in Antelope and Nester Halls, according to Dr. Tony Earls, UNK director of Residence Life.

“At 5 p.m. on March 7, Antelope and Nester Halls had only a handful of reservations,” he said. “However, by 8 a.m. on March 8, only a couple of four-person suites were available for females. Those halls were completely full by the end of the day.”

Between now and Friday, March 30, all on-campus returning students have an opportunity to choose their rooms in the residence halls for fall semester.

“If they sign a contract after that time (March 30), we will assign returning students their rooms when we assign rooms to new students,” Dr. Earls said. Returning students whose applications are incomplete on March 30 will be removed from the system. Students who sign housing contracts have until June 1 to cancel without penalty.

In all, 1,415 students–764 returning and 651 new students–have completed housing contracts. Incoming freshmen are required to live on campus.

“Obviously, students are signing up for rooms in all the residence halls across the campus,” Dr. Earls said.

In recent years, UNK has put a campus revitalization and renewal program in motion. In the fall of 2008, construction was completed on Antelope/Nester, which is a new, suite-style residential complex that has replaced Ludden and Case Halls. Mantor, Mens and Randall Halls have since undergone major renovation, and this coming fall, Centennial Towers West will be closed for renovation.

The seven-story, approximately 400-bed hall, completed in 1967 and named for the centennial of the State of Nebraska, will undergo infrastructure updates, including the installation of fire sprinklers, voice-over fire alarms, drop ceilings in the hallways and bathrooms, carpet in the hallways and new light fixtures. Ceiling and floor tiles, which contain asbestos, will be removed, and computer and TV jacks will be relocated. Two small-group study rooms on each floor will have improved access from the hallways. The building will also become more energy-efficient with the installation of a heat wheel.

“While this high-rise residential facility is off-line, we will be able to house our usual number of students by maximizing our capacity in the remaining residence halls,” Dr. Earls said. “This means we probably will not have single rooms to offer next fall. We do have a contingency plan in place to use if, and only if, we exceed occupancy of the last two fall semesters.

“Our goal is to house 1,950 students on campus,” he said. Dr. Earls is also the associate dean for the UNK Division of Student Affairs.