Incoming students to Monmouth University may soon have a new option for housing, as the West Long Branch Zoning Board of Adjustment heard a case on Thursday evening for a new residence hall to be built on the campus.
The new residence hall would be built on what is currently Lot 6 at Monmouth University, directly across from the school’s library. According to the architect in charge of this project, Mykhaylo Kulymych, this would be a three-story residence hall.
“Along with the three floors, there would be a ground floor that would have a laundry, storage area, lounge and a bookstore annex,” Kulymych noted.
When asked by board members if this would be a public area, Monmouth University engineer and planner William Fitzgerald noted it would not be open to anyone who is not affiliated with the university.
“You would have to show a Monmouth University identification to get into this annex,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald also brought the board members up to speed on the parking spot situation at the school, since the residence hall would be built atop the visitor lot at the library.
He explained that currently there are 976 parking spaces available on campus, and school officials found that of those spots, there is only demand for 556 parking spaces. There are 778 total rooms on campus right now.
Fitzgerald explained it would be tough to calculate the number of spots needed by students by each individual grade since some graduate mid year, so it would be easier to figure out how many spots were needed per room, rather than per student.
When concerns about visitor parking at the library were brought up by board members, Fitzgerald noted there would still be spots available for visitors all throughout the campus. He also explained that officials on campus would continue to be strict about what cars were allowed in what lots and whether they are commuter cars or resident cars. The designation of whether the car belongs to a resident or commuter would be notified by a parking decal on the back of the rear-view mirror of the car.
Fitzgerald then noted that for this residence hall, 84 parking spots would be lost and 101 rooms would be added, bringing the total of spots to 892 and the total of rooms to 879.
Some members of the board were concerned about the number of spots being taken away, but Fitzgerald alleviated their concerns by noting the ratio of spots to rooms was still higher than the demand, and he added the school will never go below a minimum of 660 parking stalls for students.
Following the discussion on spaces and the size of the residence hall, the meeting adjourned at 10:30 p.m., with both sides agreeing to meet again at the next zoning board meeting on Aug. 23.
At the next meeting, more officials will state their case for why Monmouth should be able to build a new residence hall at this location.