Plans to create more space for students on the campus of Colorado Mesa University are forcing some living off campus to move out.
The school has seen an extraordinary amount of growth over the past six years as student enrollment numbers have shot up. The number of buildings on campus has more than doubled during that time, according to officials.
Monday, officials held a public 'Open House' for the new Orchard Avenue Apartments.
"This is a little more independent living for us," CMU President Tim Foster described. "They're very nice units, they have great views and they're obviously very popular."
The 59,000 square foot building will house 192 students in several three-bed and six-bed units. The dorm is coed and only open to sophomores, juniors and seniors with at least a 2.5 grade point average.
"They're nice, they're apartment style," Foster said.
The hall features amenities like study lounges, computer labs and laundry rooms - all on site. Each unit is fully furnished and will cost students between $3,400 and $3,700 dollars each semester.
"It's a nice thing that a lot of students want to come and we're just trying to meet the demand that they have for housing."
But as big as the facility is, officials say they will still be short on housing for the student body. In fact, the school expects a few dozen students to be living in hotels at the start of the year. But, not for long.
The university plans to break ground on another new dormitory in August.
"It'll be over there on the other side of the softball stadium," Foster described. More specifically, the new dorm will be built on the main campus between Elm and Texas Avenues on the east side of Cannell Avenue.
To offset an increasing demand, the school is focusing future efforts on expanding out west. Neighborhoods standing in the way are slowly being bought a demolished by the school, in the process evicting several off campus students renting that space.
"They're moving fast," CMU Junior Alex Zemezonak said. "It seems like they don't want us out here anymore."
Zemezonak lives in a home right across the street from the main campus. Over the past two years, he and his roommates have watched almost every house around theirs come down.
"It's actually pretty crazy, we're like an island down here."
His home is the last standing on the northeast side of Glenwood Avenue. And even though he's locked into a year long lease, he can't help but think his home could be next to come down.
"We're just kind of playing it by ear and hopefully they give us time to move out," he said. "But that's fine. There are a lot of other places in town."
Zemezonak says he is all for the school's expansion but worries how much of an inconvenience it could be for him.
Many of the lots bought by the school in those nearby neighborhoods have been turned into parking lots.