As of last year, Olivet College has welcomed a new addition to campus, Oakhill Apartments. The plan to purchase Oak Hill Apartments was approved by the board of trustees and the purchase was finalized in June 2015.
Jackie Looser, chief financial officer, brought up the idea of buying Oak Hill apartments in early 2015. According to Linda Logan, vice president and dean of student life, this was in response to students requesting apartment style housing and the opportunity to prepare for living conditions after graduation. This also helped answer the issue of needing additional space to house students currently on campus. The apartment complex, located just down the road, was the perfect answer.
According to Bill Morris, assistant apartment manager and resident of Oak Hill, Oak Hill apartments are made up of three buildings, with 24 apartments. A total of 21 the apartments have a double and single room, housing three students. There are also three units that have a double room, housing two students each. All apartments are fully furnished, have a full bathroom, a full kitchen, and a living room. There are laundry facilities in each building that are coin operated. Students also have access to cable TV, wireless internet, and air conditioning. Oak Hill Apartments has a max occupancy of 64 students, which is currently filled. There are not co-ed living arrangements in Oak Hill.
The apartments are overseen by Jake Schuler, assistant dean for student life, who is in charge of all of the resident buildings on campus. According to the 2016 Student Handbook, in order to live in the apartments, students have to apply at the Student Life Office, where the application will be reviewed by Shawn Holt, administrative assistant to the vice president of student life and the housing coordinator. To apply, students must have at least a 2.5 GPA, have resided in a dorm for at least one year or have greater than 30 credits, have none or limited issues with the school, and have enough roommates who meet all the requirements. Upperclassmen are considered first when applying.
There is a lot of positive feedback from the purchase. Logan said, “Purchasing Oak Hill was a win-win for the students and the college. Olivet College is a residential college and expanding the housing offerings to include a more home-style option is an important part of campus growth and development.” Morris said that living in the apartments give upperclassmen the opportunity to “pull away from campus” and “mature” while still being involved with the college community.
Current residents enjoy the atmosphere of Oak Hill. The apartments are quiet and removed from campus without being too far away. Students say they enjoy living here because of the quiet that you can’t find at an on-campus housing option.
That being said, the apartments have a few issues that are being worked out. According to Morris, being located off of west Butterfield Highway poses some challenges. Trying to get to the apartment complex is slightly dangerous by foot, particularly during the winter months, because of the current sidewalk ending at the Lamplighter. However, the college is discussing a plan with the city to get a sidewalk put in to make the walk there less dangerous. There is also the issue of insufficient parking for the residents of Oak Hill. There are currently only 49 parking spaces, so some students have to find parking elsewhere. There is not a solution being worked out for that problem as of right now.
Oak Hill adds another opportunity to have a home-style living condition for students besides the Gillette student apartments and the Greek houses. It also offers more privacy than any of the three residence halls.