AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – UMass Amherst said it will be putting up 120 transfer students in the Econo Lodge in Hadley for the fall semester. A spokesperson for UMass said this is the first time something like this has happened since 2005 because of an increased demand to live on campus.
Starting September 2, the Econo Lodge on Route 9 will be the home to only UMass students and they are being told to expect a roommate. UMass Amherst Spokesperson Ed Blaguszewski said while total undergraduate enrollment is expected to be the same as last fall, more students want to live on campus this year.
Most of the students can expect to stay at the Econo Lodge through the fall semester but they’ll be given priority in the spring for housing.
“One of the things that’s really different about living in a hotel is providing weekly cleaning for those hotel rooms,” said Jean MacKimmie, Director of residence education.
Residential Life put out a video this week explaining what’s available for students staying at the Econo Lodge. The school will also give students a discounted rate for $3,353 for the semester, compared to roughly $3,900 for a shared room on campus.
When 22News asked Blaguszewski if the school was spending money out of pocket to rehouse students, he responded, “When taking into account total revenue connected to these 120 students (housing, dining plans, tuition and fees), the university has a positive financial outcome.”
Vincent and Joseph Bartoluci of Southampton said despite the school’s efforts, UMass needs to do more about on campus housing.
“I have a lot of people who I work with who were struggling to get places to stay at UMass,” said Vincent.
Joseph continued with saying, “One of our friend especially. She has to live off campus now because of the whole dorming issue.”
A new student housing complex is also under construction, which will add 700 beds on campus. That would make it more than 14,000 beds. There are expected to be more than 22,000 students enrolled this fall.
The PVTA will have bus services running throughout the day to get students to and from campus.