Housing for USM Gulf Park students

One hundred and twenty two students at USM’s Gulf Park campus in Long Beach will be the first of their class to move into the city’s first ever dedicated housing for USM Gulf Park students.

Just a few months ago, the seeds were planted for this project springing up just north of USM’s Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach. On Monday, developers, state, and local lawmakers were on hand for the official groundbreaking for Friendship Oak Village, a housing complex that will provide housing for 122 USM students this fall. Lee Parrish with Gulf Coast Student Housing LLC said, “Right now, we’re completely demoing the entire inside. So, we’re taking everything back to the original walls and then we have to go through and do the entire re-plumbing. Then we have to go in and re-do all the rooms. It’s a complete rehab on the interior.”

While they have their work cut out for them to meet the mid-August deadline, project leaders say the finished product will be well worth it. Encompass Develop, Design and Construct CEO Tim O’Donnell said, “They’re very nice rooms. They’re a little bit larger than we usually would find. There are 61 rooms, 122 beds, two students to a room. Four students sharing a bathroom so there’s no community showers.”

Situated in the heart of Long Beach and just across the street from USM’s Gulf Park campus, city leaders and developers say Friendship Oak Village will help roll more dollars into the local economy. Long Beach Mayor George Bass said, “It’s a step in the right direction. When you can bring 122 students into our city and put them into a dormitory, where they’re going to be in our city, they’re going to be eating in our city. They’re going to be shopping in our city. It’s just going to open up the door for more development here.”

Housing applications should be available to all incoming USM students in the next few weeks.

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