Advertisement

Morgan State to build more on-campus housing in effort to address strong growth, improve security

Morgan State to build more on-campus housing in effort to address strong growth, improve security
Dr. David Wilson, Ed.D., president of Morgan State University, in a 2018 photo near construction of the campus Academic Quad, has made improving and expanding the school's infrastructure a priority. This week he announced that 900 new dorm rooms will be opened by 2020 in an effort to accommodate growth and improve safety. (Baltimore Sun photo by Algerina Perna)

Morgan State’s Board of Regents approved a plan this week for the Baltimore-based university to build more campus housing to accommodate its growing student body.

Hundreds more students are flocking to the state’s largest historically black university. Between 2013 and this fall, Morgan State University’s incoming freshman class grew by 63 percent to roughly 1,450 new students — mirroring a trend at historically black institutions across the nation.

Advertisement

“Because more students are choosing Morgan as their first choice of colleges, and because Morgan is experiencing historic retention rates never witnessed in the history of the university, additional on-campus housing is essential,” university president David Wilson wrote in a letter to the campus community.

The regents approved a plan for the university to work with the Maryland Economic Development Corp. to address the need for more student residential facilities. They plan to add up to 900 new beds in an apartment-style building on Morgan’s South Campus, near the Thurgood Marshall Apartment Complex.

Officials hope to finish construction on the new building by fall 2022. After it’s done, the university plans to demolish the aging Thurgood Marshall complex and turn the lot into green space.

“The addition of a new apartment-type housing facility at Morgan is long overdue,” said Kevin Banks, Morgan’s vice president for student affairs, in a statement.

The need for more on-campus housing reflects not just the swelling student body, but also safety concerns.

Wilson put renewed emphasis on fast-tracking the new building’s construction after a spate of violence near campus in recent months shook the Morgan community.

The school also is seeking to expand its police force, as well as add a security booth outside the Morgan View apartment building, a housing option for students that isn’t managed by the university.

Manuel “Manny” Luis Jr., a 19-year-old Morgan student who was shot and killed last month, was found just outside the Morgan View building.

“I ask all students to have patience with us as we move as rapidly as we can to construct and open these facilities,” Wilson wrote. “I know we will experience ‘growing pains’ along the way and the administration will be working quite assiduously to accommodate all of our student demands for housing until the new spaces open on campus.”

He plans to addressing both interim and long-term housing plans at a Sept. 9 town hall meeting.

Advertisement
Advertisement