There's no place like home.
At least 10 months out of a year, about 3,600 Kansas University students call "home" a room in a campus residence hall. Another 1,500 students make their homes in KU's scholarship halls, Jayhawker Towers Apartments and family residences such as Stouffer Place and Sunflower Apartments.
Of course, thousands of other students prefer to live off campus in apartment complexes scattered throughout Lawrence.
Although many of the apartment complexes have existed for years, several upscale complexes have been built in recent years, providing students with private living luxuries that the old-fashioned dormitories and residence halls don't have.
On campus, KU has embarked on a long-term program to renovate its residence halls.
"Students' lifestyles are considerably different now than they were when these residence halls were built," said Ken Stoner, director of KU's Student Housing department. "In addition, these buildings are old. Most were built in the 1960s. They're at the end of their mechanical lifespan. Air conditioning and heating units and plumbing need to be replaced."
One residence hall may house from 300 to 900 students in single- or double-occupancy rooms. All halls have direct Internet and campus computer line hook-ups in the students' rooms.
To get the network activated, students sign up with KU Network and Telecommunications Service and pay an optional user's fee.
In the late 1990s the first two halls to be renovated were Templin and Lewis, both coed dorms. Both offer students several floor plan options with an in-suite bathroom, sitting and studying areas and even a wet bar.
Each floor at Templin and Lewis has its own identity honoring an individual contribution or tradition of excellence at KU. Students participating in scholar programs get priority in applications made for residency, and minimum grade point averages must be maintained.
Ryan Reed, 19, Overland Park, just completed his freshman year living in one of Templin's suites.
The room he shared with three other students opened into a multipurpose area.
"I really enjoyed it," Reed said, as he went about the process of moving out of Templin at the end of the spring semester. "It's been really nice. We're coming back here next year."
Ellsworth Hall is next on the list for renovation, but it won't be completed until 2002, Stoner said. Although residence halls compete with off-campus apartment complexes and fraternity and sorority houses for students, the dorms are regularly 98 percent full, Stoner said.
The cost of living in residence halls, including room and board and other amenities, range from a little more than $4,000 to a little more than $5,000 per year.
The housing department is at 422 W. 11th St., Suite DSH. For more information call 864-4560 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.