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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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Closing of Lancaster Courts changes housing options

Lancaster Courts will no longer be available to students in fall 2018 (Photo by Luke Malanga ’20).

Furthest sophomore housing option will no longer be affiliated with St. Joe’s

Beginning next year, Lancaster Courts will no longer be a housing option for students at St. Joe’s.

Currently housing sophomores, Lancaster Courts is made up of two separate buildings and houses about 222 students. St. Joe’s entered the lease with Lancaster Courts in 1999.

“There has been some discussion, or an intention, to manage enrollment so it is a little bit more consistent from year to year,” said Kelly Bersett, Associate Director for Housing Operations in the Office of Residence Life. “So with the stabilization of enrollment it has given us the opportunity to examine our current beds and we have the ability to take Lancaster Courts off and use our existing stock of beds.”

Unlike most of the residence buildings at St. Joe’s, Lancaster Courts is not owned by the university. Bersett said that it was decided in the past year to not extend the lease beyond the Spring semester of 2018.

“We have two master lease properties. Lancaster Courts is one of them, Pennbrook is the other one,” Bersett said. “The rest of the residential buildings are owned by Saint Joseph’s University. Those two buildings are really unique in that element of the master lease.”

Bersett said that it has always been interesting to talk to people about living in Lancaster Courts because it is the farthest residential building from main campus. Lancaster Courts is located on the 6300 block of Sherwood Road in Philadelphia.

Vilma Fermin ’20 has been an RA at Lancaster Courts since August of last year, and has enjoyed her time there, though she believes closing it to students is a good decision.

“I think it’s kind of nice because Lanc was farthest away, and it gives students more options closer to campus,” said Fermin. “There’s enough housing around campus that there’ll be enough housing for rising sophomores.”

Cam Rice ’20 lives in Lancaster Courts and has had a positive experience living there.

“The apartments are of decent size and, although it is far from campus, it is nice to disconnect,” Rice said. “The kitchen is updated, and the walk-in closets are a nice addition to have.”

Rice said that he first heard rumors of Lancaster Courts not being a housing option for students in the beginning of the first semester.

“I think that Lancaster Courts closing is a good thing for future St. Joe’s students,” Rice said. “I personally think that Lancaster [Courts] is too far for student living, especially if you’re heading to class and you miss the shuttle.”

With the closing of Lancaster Courts, Rice hopes that students will have a different options that are closer to campus and that shuttle will be rerouted for faster transportation to campus.

“It is just going to decrease some of the variety of options that we have for sophomores going forward, particularly into next year,” Bersett said. “The apartment options are going to be larger occupancy apartments as opposed to having those two person spaces [which were provided in Lancaster Courts]. In terms of the other options, Moore Hall and the campus houses and all of the other apartments will still be available. It’s just there won’t be this extra apartment community that is available.”

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