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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | Thousand Oaks

Dorm Delays Force Students Off Campus

September 13, 2000|MAIJA-LIISA NAGARAJAN

Construction delays on a $6-million, two-story dormitory being built at Cal Lutheran University have increased the commute for scores of upperclassmen.

When Eric Callman and his three roommates signed up to live in the new residence hall they knew it meant temporarily living off campus. But they were surprised by the 20-minute commute.

"You have to get used to it," Callman said. "It's a lot of driving time."

The 21-year-old senior now travels from an apartment in neighboring Oak Park to CLU's Thousand Oaks campus. He is one of 120 students the private university has scattered among 19 furnished locations throughout the Conejo Valley, including at the Thousand Oaks Inn and some homes and dorms on campus.

Administrators expect the new 31-room unit hall on the southwest side of campus to open by mid-October.

"We didn't know the exact amount of time, but we knew at that point it would have a late opening," said Bill Rosser, dean of students. "People would make their choice on that information. . . . This is not how we want to start someone's senior year."

Rosser said the new dorms will increase student housing capacity on campus by more than 9% to 1,000 students. Each of the dorm's 900-square-foot, two-bedroom suites will have a kitchen.

"Sure, maybe the first two months are rotten, but the other eight or nine will really rock," said senior Erin Radtke, who is in temporary quarters at the Oakwood Apartments at Hillcrest Drive and Hodencamp Road, about four miles from campus.

"I've lived in the dorms all three years, and I've realized how spoiled I was. Walking five minutes to class. Having study groups nearby," she said.

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