KEARNEY – Plans are under way to close University of Nebraska at Kearney’s University Heights apartments in May 2017, and the 43 student residents were informed this week.
The residents will have the months between now and the facility’s permanent closing to find alternate living arrangements, which could include the traditional residence halls on campus, or alternatively, apartments in the community.
The closing plan for the 56-year-old building has been in motion since as early as 2012 when plans for University Village – previously called “south campus” – were announced by the university. The private-public 104-acre mixed-use collaborative development has begun infrastructure and construction of the first university building – a 130-bed, $16 million apartment complex called Village Flats.
Residents of University Heights are eligible to become first tenants of Village Flats, said George Holman, associate dean for Residence Life. Village Flats will be ready for occupancy in fall 2018.
The decision to close the 108-unit University Heights – located at 1701 W 35th St. northwest of the university’s main campus – came after analysis of the structure, cost to renovate and add a fire-sprinkler system. University Heights has been the option for married students and others who desire to live off-campus.
Holman said Residence Life staff is working with students to offer assistance to them in finding other housing during the 2017-18 academic year and will help students move in May by offering roll-offs and waiving some move-out maintenance charges.
Plans for selling the University Heights property will be announced.