Ohio University will continue to offer housing in River Park Apartments for rising sophomores for the 2023-24 school year.
During the room selection process, students who choose to live in River Park will have the opportunity to choose how many rooms there will be in the apartment that they choose. As with the regular residence hall selection process, students can select a room at River Park with or without roommates.
“I think the nice part for us is our building is like right in the same building as the gym and the pool, so it's really nice,” said Natalie Netcher, a sophomore studying strategic leadership and management and River Park resident. “I know our other roommate utilized the pool a couple of times when it was open.”
Last summer, OU offered select students the opportunity to switch from on-campus housing to River Park Towers due to the addition of the university’s historically large freshman class, according to a previous Post report.
Because of the increased number of first-and second-year students who are required to live on campus, Housing and Residence Life partnered with River Park for a second year, Johnna Matulja, the director for business operations, said.
“There were multiple reasons for going into the partnership with River Park again, but proximity was a huge one,” Matulja said. “Our hope is to just extend that residential footprint for the next year to help ensure that we're providing great accommodations for our students.”
The university will offer 425 beds for the upcoming year, Matulja said.
Because OU is using building 36 of River Park, students who currently live there and have resigned leasing contracts may need to find somewhere else to live for the upcoming year, Alexis Huelsman, a junior studying middle childhood education, said.
Huelsman said she is uncertain if she will live in the same apartment during the upcoming year or if she will need to move to a different building.
“They said we won't know where we are until after the end of this semester or beginning of summer,” said Huelsman. “We will potentially have to move into our new apartment in the middle of July.”
River Park Apartments did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.
Because it is a housing contract, students are required to follow many of the same housing procedures as those who live in residence halls.
Students who choose to live at River Park are only able to live in the apartments during the school year and are required to move out during the university’s winter break unless other accommodations are made. The apartments are also fully furnished like the residence halls.
“We're committed to the two-year housing requirement,” said Matulja. “We really believe that that's the best opportunity for our first and second years to really get to know Athens get to know Ohio University and really focus on their studies prior to moving off campus.”
For next year’s second-year students who are part of the Ohio Guarantee, the cost of the apartments will be $5,181 per semester, which is the rate of a suite-single in residential housing. Students will also be required to choose a meal plan, which will be an additional cost.
“We will be requiring a meal plan next year for any students who select into River Park keeping in the spirit of the housing requirement,” said Matulja. “A part of the spirit of that is also that meal plan, and ensuring that students have quick and easy access to meals that they do not have to worry about cooking. We're moving forward with those requirements this upcoming year.”
Because the partnership with River Park is on a year-to-year basis, Ohio University does not plan to add swipe access like its residence halls have.