Salisbury University is set to purchase the Seagull Village apartment complex for $3.6 million to address student housing concerns, setting the stage for the destruction of Dogwood Village.
SU’s proposal to purchase the complex was approved by the Maryland Board of Public Works Dec. 1, with students likely to occupy the space beginning Fall 2022.
Seagull Village, a privately-owned apartment complex located south of the university’s main campus at 1401 Seagull Lane, has been leased by the university in previous years to house its international students.
Director of Housing and Residence Life Dave Gutoskey said the apartments will be available for upperclassmen, as residence halls are expected to return to near full capacity in the fall.
The four apartment buildings contain 32 three-bedroom units and are expected to have 30-year lifespans, according to the proposal. Renovations for Seagull Village are estimated at $2 million.
Associate Vice President of Facilities and Capital Management Eric Berkheimer said renovations would likely include replacing the apartments’ carpeting and roofing, as well as installing new kitchen cabinets and counters.
Janet Wormack, vice president for administration and finance, said students’ tuition and fees will remain unaffected by the acquisition, purchased through unrestricted university funds. The cost of housing for students occupying Seagull Village will align with other off-campus housing complexes, such as University Park.
“We are doing everything we can to improve our housing stock for our students [because] it’s what they’ve asked for,” Wormack said. “We’re trying to meet the demands of the students to the best of our ability.”
The purchase is part of the university’s plan to replace Dogwood Village, a group of 15 on-campus housing units located along Dogwood Drive.
Originally intended to serve as temporary student housing in 1985, the units are “long past their useful life” and are used as COVID-19 quarantine and isolation spaces, according to the acquisition documents.
Berkheimer said the timeline for Dogwood Village’s eventual destruction will depend on the university’s continued need for quarantine and isolation spaces in future semesters.
The acquisition of Seagull Village and destruction of Dogwood Village would result in a net loss of 44 student beds, offset by available space in other residence halls, according to the proposal.
The real estate currently occupied by Dogwood Village would likely be converted to house one of SU’s next “major” buildings since the area is a “high-profile corner of the main campus,” per the proposal.
By JAKOB TODD
Featured image courtesy of Brad Boardman.