DeSales University plans to start construction this summer on two new dormitories that will bring a total of 118 new beds to the campus.
Upper Saucon Township Supervisors on Monday night granted final plan approval for the first phase of a student-housing village that will include two new residential buildings with 59 beds in each.
The new dormitories will include amenities that many modern college students are looking for, including separate kitchens and living areas, said Robert Snyder, the university’s vice president for administration and finance.
Construction is expected to get under way after graduation and the hope is to have the new buildings ready for student living by the fall 2014 semester.
The new construction is also expected to help DeSales achieve its short-term goals of increasing student enrollment to 1,700 and increasing its share of students who live on campus to 75 percent, Snyder said.
Currently, 68 percent of DeSales’ student body of a little more than 1,600 lives on campus, Snyder said.
But DeSales likely won’t be done with expansion once these two new dormitory buildings are finished.
Before granting final plan approval for two dormitory buildings, supervisors also approved a preliminary land development plan that calls for the construction of eight new residence halls and a village center building.
But full build-out of the village, which would include 472 beds and a fitness center, may be many years away, Snyder said. Much of the timing of the rest of the project will depend on student demand for living quarters and the university’s long-term goals, he added.