SOCORRO, N.M., July 26, 2000 -- A nearly completed student apartment complex at New Mexico Tech will soon offer returning Tech students the independence of living in an apartment setting, along with the convenience of living on campus, topped off with some of the best views in town.

The newest residence hall at the state-funded university -- a three-story, Spanish mission style, dual-winged facility, tucked away in a hilly area on the southwest corner of campus -- will be ready for students to move into right before the start of the school's fall semester, which gets underway August 22.

The 144-bed apartment complex, built for just under $5 million, offers both four bedroom/two bath and two bedroom/one bath units in which upperclassmen and non-traditional adult students can live. On the average, about 40 percent of New Mexico Tech's 1,500 students choose to live on campus during any given school year.

Each apartment is completely furnished, having its own fully functional kitchen, along with an ample living room area. The complex itself also offers residents the added amenities of centralized laundry facilities, study lounges at each level, and open courtyards outside of each of the two adjoining wings.

"The views from these new apartments are spectacular," says Dennis Schumacher, manager of New Mexico Tech's Residential Life Office. "The architectural design of the building also makes good use of the surrounding landscape, allowing a nearby hill to act as a natural barrier against wind and traffic noise." Schumacher also points out that the new apartment complex on the Tech campus has proven to be a popular draw for prospective students, particularly since room rates are in line with typical rental costs in Socorro.

"In addition, all utilities are paid for, including local phone services," he adds, "and each private bedroom has its own Ethernet connection."

The residential life manager notes that more and more universities throughout the country are making available apartment-style living facilities for their students. "Many of today's entering students are accustomed to having their own bedrooms," Schumacher says, "and, as such, New Mexico Tech also has to be able to offer these type of living arrangements as incentives for students to stay on campus and stay at Tech."

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