New dorm set to open in time for fall 2019 living requirement

The Villa Park Orchards Residential Village, located adjacent to the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, is set to open summer 2019 and will offer housing for approximately 400 students, helping the university enforce its mandate for all underclassmen to live in on-campus housing. Photo by Jack Clendening

Chapman’s Villa Park Orchards Residential Village is set to open this summer, just in time for the first-ever sophomore class that will be required to live in on-campus housing.

In 2017, administrators announced that all underclassmen would be required to live on campus by 2019, a feat that required the construction of additional dorms. With the completion of the new residence hall, which is steps away from Chapman’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Chapman will house 60 percent of its students on campus, President Daniele Struppa told The Panther in 2017.

Despite the convenience of the new dorm, not all students are behind the idea of compulsory campus housing.

“We should have options if we want to live in a house off campus or live in apartments,” said Valentine Riffel, a freshman broadcast journalism major. “It could be cheaper, but we have to live on campus and have to pay for a meal plan.”

The new policy also aims to ease tensions with Orange residents.

“The city has been concerned about increasing the presence of our students in the city,” Struppa said. “I think that this will allow our students to have access to incredibly high-quality facilities and at the same time, not being in the position of creating conflicts with the residents.”

For those who study film and media arts, the new building could prove to be convenient.

“It will be a great option for Dodge students who don’t want to walk 15 minutes to and from the current dorms, especially since after our freshman year, most of our GE classes are done,” said Carlee Correia, a freshmen creative producing major.

Based on Chapman’s 2018-19 housing rates for its newest dorms, the convenience could have a price tag. Chapman’s housing rates for this year put the nine-month price tag on a single student living in a single bedroom of a Chapman Grand apartment with two residents at $13,778.

For a student living in a single bedroom in a 2-bedroom suite in the Sandhu Residence Center, another one of the newer dorms, for the same time period the cost would be $11,958. That means that – for these particular residences – each student would pay anywhere from around $1,300 to $1,350 per month. Housing rates for the new dorm have not yet been announced.

For students who elect to live off campus, there are houses or apartments with multiple bedrooms which can be rented for a lower price point than some of Chapman’s pricier housing.

As of February, the average rent in Orange for a three- or four-bedroom single-family home was around $3,400, according to real estate website Trulia. The rent for these types of residences is often split between multiple students.

Located on the corner of Cypress Street and Palm Avenue, the Villa Park Orchards dorm will be able to house up to 400 residents. The suite-style rooms will have a kitchen and living room, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Villa Park Orchard’s foundation, framing and roof are complete, with, construction now focused on interior and exterior finishes. Although “rainy and cold” weather has been a challenge for construction, plans have remained on track, Kris Olsen, the vice president of Campus Planning and Operations, wrote in an email to The Panther.

Correction: An earlier version of this story reported inaccurate costs for living in the Sandhu Residence Center and an incorrect title for the Villa Park Orchards Residential Village . The information has been corrected.