New off-campus housing proves beneficial to students

By Grace Connor

Simonds Hall (Photo by Tom Doyle)

Simonds Hall and Dillon Hall, both of which opened this fall semester, provide an alternative housing option for students of Fitchburg State University. The buildings have been renovated out of existing Fitchburg buildings and are a less than five minute walk to campus.
Simonds contains loft-style apartments for $620 per month, while Dillon’s rates are $600. Apartments around the FSU area are generally around $500 per month per room.
Simonds and Dillon offer what many off-campus housing do not: inclusion of all utilities in the monthly rent, a student-only environment, and newly renovated interiors.
“My room is bigger than I could have ever hoped for, certainly bigger than a dorm room, and the apartment is also spacious,” says a junior resident of Simonds.
Not only do the rooms appear to be larger than what is offered through the university, but they are also cheaper. “Doing out the math, living in Dillon was the only thing that made sense financially,” says a freshman tenant, who, although never having lived in the FSU dorms, is confident in his decision to start out off-campus.
His math checks out. The cheapest option to live on campus is to occupy a double room in Herlihy Hall, which costs $2,697 per semester. This divides up to about $600 per month – but that’s not even for a single. If a student wishes to have a single on campus, they will pay anywhere from $764 (Herlihy Hall) to $834 (North Street Apartments) per month. These rates don’t include meal plans, which range from $720 to $1,475 per semester ($180-$369 per month).
Dillon Hall (Photo by Tom Doyle)

However, there are drawbacks of living off-campus. Residents of FSU on-campus housing are guaranteed the protection of campus police, the system of desk workers, resident assistants, and building directors, and conveniently prepared food via Chartwell’s.
In addition, although the off-campus dorms are student-only, “they don’t provide the same atmosphere as living in a dorm with everyone your age,” says a senior resident of Dillon. “Maybe it’s just not popular enough yet, and more people just need to move in.”
These apartments require a one-year lease, which is a greater time and financial commitment than many students are willing to make. However, both apartment buildings are an excellent alternative option for any FSU student looking for a more independence.