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To create a real campus, UNLV needs students to live where they learn

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A concept image provided by UNLV shows the proposed Midtown Park, a $175 million apartment-style dormitory project at UNLV that is scheduled to open in fall 2015.
Photo: Courtesy UNLV

UNLV has an image problem.

As soon as the final classes let out, students scuttle away in their cars and on bikes, leaving behind darkened buildings and an eerily quiet campus. Save for the occasional basketball game, UNLV offers few reasons for students to stick around after hours. President Neal Smatresk wants to change all that.

Over the past two years, Smatresk has pushed for a new campus master plan that calls for an on-campus football stadium, new apartment-style dorms and a “student village” that would transform UNLV into a full-fledged residential college. If UNLV can shed its commuter image, the university can attract more faculty, staff and students and build a stronger connection with students that could translate into higher alumni giving. A vibrant UNLV campus could also offer more nighttime and weekend events to the local community.

Already, UNLV’s refurbished dorms have students flocking back to campus, and new plans for a five-story apartment-style dorm—called Midtown Park—has the university buzzing. For now, however, the campus is a work in progress. Here’s a by-the-numbers look at how that work is going:

1,650

Number of on-campus residents at UNLV this year, up 500 students from last year.

100

Number of UNLV students on a waiting list for dorms, the first waiting list since the recession.

6

Percent of UNLV students who live on-campus.

$3,134

Average per-semester cost of on-campus housing at UNLV.

3,000

Number of beds the new Midtown Park project is expected to add on campus.

$175 million

Cost of Midtown Park, which will bring 550 one- to three-bedroom apartments to campus.

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