Crowder to purchase Roughrider Apartments

Zsu Zsu Ngugi 4

Steve Chapman

The Roughrider Village apartment complex will soon become housing for Crowder students who will live on campus. According to Dr. Jim Cummins, vice-president of finance, the Board of Governors, at their meeting on January 23, voted to “enter into an agreement with the facility corporation, which agreed to buy (Roughrider Village), so we will be leasing it from them.” He added that the facility corporation is actually an arm of Crowder and it purchased the apartment complex for $3.5 million dollars.

Cummins said the purchase will increase the number of students who will be able to live on campus for about a third of the cost of building new dormitories.  “We initially looked at the possibility of adding about 200 beds…east of the present dorms,” he said. “And also included in that would have been some student commons area, and in looking at that, we ran into a budget that was well over $10 million.

“So we started trying to condense that down to more of a $6-$7 million construction budget. And we were down to a little over 100 beds; we’d really restricted the size. The commons area wasn’t as big as we would have liked it to be. So having gone through that exercise of design and size and costing, we went back and reevaluated the potential of purchasing Roughrider village.”

 Cummins also stated the purchase of Roughrider Village was desirable because it would come very close to meeting the Board’s goal of adding 200 beds to existing campus housing. “There is the potential right now for 192 beds,” he stated.  There are 32 one-bedroom (apartments), so 64 beds fit there and there are 32 two-bedrooms so 128 beds there.”

Asked about the current residents at Roughrider Village, Cummins said that Crowder will honor the current leases until they expire. “We will work with the renters anyway we can to honor the run out of their lease.”

While the purchase of Roughrider Village looks like a good deal for Crowder, not everyone is thrilled about the idea. Zouzou Ngugi, a criminal justice major and international student from the Congo, said she chose to live at Roughrider Village instead of the dorms for a number of reasons, including the food at the cafeteria and the cost of campus housing.

“I can’t eat the cafeteria food; that’s the reason why I live in the apartments,” Ngugi said. “I can cook my own food. And also, the dorms are expensive and the apartments are cheaper.”

Ale Enkhtur, a business administration major from Mongolia, also dislikes the food in the cafeteria, but said she had other reasons for living in the apartments. “I wanted to learn to pay my own bills; be more responsible for myself,” Enktur said.

Grace via Penbe, a general studies major from Gabon, said she lives off campus because she doesn’t like the restriction placed on students who live on campus, including not being able “to go out after 10 or 11 p.m.”

Asked whether she would stay after current lease expires, via Penbe replied “It’s really going to depend on what the rules are. I might stay there because I really like the apartments.”

Cummins, asked about the student concerns, responded that there are still many aspects to be worked out, but that the students concerns are going to be looked at carefully.

“We’ll be looking at a meal plan, whether it will be required, whether a minimum meal plan be required, what type of housing, (and) whether we’re going to allow married housing,” he said. “(There are) a myriad of things we have to work out still as far as the practices that we will put in place over there.