Freshman Iesha Thomas shares a room at Cal State Bakersfield with two other students. She's from Los Angeles and wishes her room had more space.
“Everyone else has only one roommate and our room is really stuffed and we have bunk beds,” Thomas says. “While everyone else has regular beds, their own office and everything.”
Thomas lives in the Rivendell Resident Hall. It's three levels with no elevators. CSUB dorms were built in the 1960s and house 350 students.
"Students are not feeling that anymore. They want more privacy. A lot of students who come and live with us have never shared a room,” said Crystal Becks, CSUB’s Director of Student Housing. “Some parents say they won’t send their kids here unless they can stay on campus.
To meet the demand of students wanting to live at CSUB, the university plans to build two new dorms to serve 500 students. It's a $42 million project financed by the Chancellor's office.
The new dorms will offer suite-style features including a game room and community space.
"Two or three students will share one room connected by a community living room, and those students will share one bathroom,” Becks says. “So, about four to six students will share one bathroom which is quite a luxury in the college world."
The majority of students living on campus are from California. CSUB wants to attract more international and out-of-state students.
"We're doing a good job so far, residential life is booming. Our programs are booming. Now, we just need more current amenities to reach out to students who have more discernment in where they stay," Becks says.
Currently CSUB students pay about $2,500 up to $4,500 each quarter to live on campus. Becks says they don’t know exactly how much the new dorms will cost students, but she says it will be more expensive because it will be newer and will offer more.
Thomas says she would love to live in the new dorms once they are built. She says staying on campus is a safer and more convenient choice.
Becks says CSUB eventually plans to house 1,500 students on campus.
Construction will start next November on the north side of the campus near Kroll Way. It is expected to be completed in three years.