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Even though its off campus, Callahan Hall turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Northern Kentucky University.
Without it, about 400 students would have been turned away for housing, according to Pete Trentacoste, director of Housing.
Callahan Hall, which just opened this fall, houses about 400 students, which according to Trentacoste is a little less than maximum occupancy.
Even with about 18 students living in hotels for the first week of school, Trentacoste said he is still very excited to have this new housing facility.
“This is the first time NKU opened with a new facility but still had a waiting list,” he said.
Though there is a waiting list, Trentacoste said Callahan Hall saved the number from being higher than it is.
With a number of students also living temporarily with Resident Assistants, Trentacoste said they will soon move out of those situations.
As for Callahan Hall, Trentacoste said it’s a different configuration than anything NKU has had.
“It’s a blend of the University Suites and the traditional halls,” he said.
Each room has its own bathroom, whether it be a full-bathroom or a half-bathroom, Trentacoste added.
That, plus the number of people who live in a room is what determines the price a student will pay.
For example, Trentacoste said a room with a half bath will cost about $1950 and a double room with a full bath will cost about $2300.
As for dining plans, “some students might be surprised to learn is that they can use their meal plan in both Norse Commons and Callahan.”
Trentacoste added that the Callahan dining facility is currently open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with most of the food being made to order. When it comes to the weekend, Trentacoste said that residents can ride a shuttle that operates from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every 10 to 15 minutes.
“In the first week, we found out there was such a demand and challenges,” Trentacoste said. He added that some of those problems include traffic versus the demand of students.
So in order to face those problems, Trentacoste said housing “has told students they should plan ahead to make sure they get to class on time.”
Though one student said he has not run into any problems with the shuttle.
Resident Assistant Kevin Richardson said the shuttle system has been successful thus far for his schedule.
“The shuttle system provided by NKU and TANK has been effective in transporting Callahan residents to class,” he said.
Even after the first week of classes, Trentacoste said he has heard some good reports about the living conditions in Callahan.
Trentacoste said some of the positives about Callahan Hall include: an access to the community, access to retail and the new addition of a sidewalk from Callahan Hall to campus.
Richardson said the location has not been an issue for him, adding that he has already enjoyed the convenience of living within walking distance to Kroger, BW3’s and Taco Bell.
He said he also likes the living conditions in Callahan Hall.
“The living options in Callahan are the best on campus because of the numerous options of arranging the provided furniture and space to bring in your own,” Richardson said.
For instance, Richardson said some students have placed couches, recliners and flat screen TVs in their dorm room and still have room to spare.
Though Trentacoste said there will be some un-happy people with the living arrangements.
“In every new facility we’re going to have some folks who are not satisfied or maybe we missed something during construction,” he said. “But we’re working on it.”
Trentacoste refers to those areas as a “Punch List.” Some of those areas that are currently under works is the construction of a exercise facility and a computer lab.
Trentacoste notes that there may be some areas they may have missed during construction and, if so, he urges students to contact Housing.
Even with some areas to improve on, Trentacoste said Callahan Hall is “the sturdiest building we have on campus.”
“If you look at it, it is currently the oldest building we have