WMU opens $60 million Arcadia Flats dormitory

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Western Michigan University students are moving into the brand new $60 million Arcadia Flats dormitory with the start of the new semester.

The building off Stadium Drive is part of a broader plan to revitalize the Hilltop Village area on the south side of campus.

An undated photo of a bedroom in the Arcadia Flats apartments. (Courtesy of Western Michigan University) 
An undated photo of a bedroom in the Arcadia Flats apartments. (Courtesy of Western Michigan University)

Sophomore Steven Davenport just moved in a week ago.

“When I first moved in, it was like, oh wow,” Davenport said.

The university had originally hoped to have Arcadia Flats ready for the fall, but the pandemic delayed the construction of the 197-unit building.

An undated photo of an apartment in Arcadia Flats. (Courtesy of Western Michigan University) 
An undated photo of an apartment in Arcadia Flats. (Courtesy of Western Michigan University)

Davenport says colleges are working hard to attract students with better on-campus housing.

“I’m from Southeast Michigan, so being close to the U of M and Eastern and those places, seeing their campus, it’s turning more towards this,” Davenport said.

Every unit has its own kitchen and bathroom with a variety of layouts.

Diane Anderson, vice president for student affairs, says the apartments are for upper-level and graduate students.

“There are five different styles, everything from a loft apartment for one person all the way to two bedrooms with two people each,” Anderson said.

An undated photo of a lounger in the Arcadia Flats apartments. (Courtesy of Western Michigan University) 
An undated photo of a lounger in the Arcadia Flats apartments. (Courtesy of Western Michigan University)

She says the building will only be half full this semester because of the construction delays.

“There were people that were signed up that made different plans when they realized it was going to be delayed because they didn’t want to move twice,” Anderson said.

The university expects the building will be full in the fall.

Since it was already under construction, the project could be completed, even as the university makes major pandemic budget cuts.

“I think it was pretty necessary. I know that they have been cutting back on their other projects,” Davenport said.

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