Student apartments to open in August

Published 12:58 am Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The LBW Foundation and its development partner, Cubed LLC, have opened bids for a 24-unit student housing complex, which it expects to have ready for occupancy in the Fall 2013 term.

Foundation immediate past president Jennifer Curry and Cubed LLC’s Kent Campbell told Rotarians Tuesday the project is one letter shy of being ready for ground-breaking.

The Foundation is seeking a low-interest, USDA loan with which to construct the apartments. While it is confident it will receive the funding, it has not received the official notification yet.

“We had hoped to be under construction in December,” Campbell said. “Once we start, it will be a 180-day project. We hope to break ground within two weeks.”

Bids already have been opened, and came in slightly higher than projected for the $3 million project. Adjustments are being made so that the project can move forward, he said.

At present, Campbell plans to have the 24, four-person units ready for students on Aug. 15 and 16 of this year.

Each apartment will have four bedrooms and a common, fully-equipped kitchen and laundry. The units will be fully furnished, and will rent for $1,800 per student per semester. The rental price includes utilities, cable and Internet access.

The complex also will include a 96-person, FEMA-approved storm shelter.

The apartments will be located adjacent to the LBW campus, and will be accessed from the campus side of the property, with a drive to be constructed south of the tennis courts.

In determining a need for housing, he said, planners considered the number of LBW’s student athletes, typically 70, many of whom move to the community to enroll. Planners also considered total enrollment and the distance students drive to school. At present, there are 250 students driving more than 25 miles to class four days per week. Using current gas prices and the cost of operating a vehicle for that commute, students would break even by living on campus, he said.

Campbell said he has developed housing all over the country, and that Andalusia is the best community he’s ever had the pleasure of working in.

“Everyone has been helpful,” he said. The business environment is fantastic, and I foresee very good things for Andalusia.”