Lobo Village was the site of the Office of Student Affairs monthly directors' meeting. They gathered in the 46-seat theater before starting a tour from the manager of the new facility Brent McPherson, American Campus Communities.

McPherson, who worked many years in college and university housing before going to work for ACC three years ago, said that models of the housing units will be open next week, with tours on Monday, March 21 and grand opening set for Wednesday, March 23.

McPherson said that Lobo Village is an 864-bed community in 216 units. Twenty-six of the units are ADA compliant. Each unit features four bedrooms, four baths, a full kitchen and living area. Each unit has its own dishwasher and laundry facilities. "We host an event called supermarket bingo, so students can ‘win' mops, plungers, and everything else they'll need. We also give them a full orientation to the features of the units," he said.

"We created an environment conducive to learning, studying and student success," he said. ACC will have a residence director living on site, as well as between 12 – 19 "community assistants," or residence advisers, living there. All will be hired from the local community, he said.

Lobo Village is open to sophomores, upper classmen and graduate students. "Freshmen who choose to live in main campus dorms will get first shot at moving into Lobo Village the next year," he said.

McPherson said that about 100 student-athletes have signed up to live at Lobo Village. A recruitment effort by ACC targeted students who were living off campus. "We were hoping to recruit 200-210 and signed up 300," he said. He noted that many are sophomores and juniors, but seniors and graduate students, including some from law and medicine, provide a balance.

McPherson said that they have the students fill out a profile sheet so they can more closely match roommates to people with similar life and study habits. "It doesn't work when mom fills out the form, though," he said.

Students pay $499 per month on a 12-month contract. They also pay electricity. "We received a LEED Silver rating, which will keep all utilities down," he said. Students pay a one-time $125 parking fee, but will have adequate on-site parking and shuttles to main campus that run every 15 minutes. As a gated community, Lobo Village will always have on-site security.

The facility is equipped with wireless Internet and the Student Success Center features four iMacs and a color printer. They do not charge for printing.

The gym is what sells most students and parents, McPherson said. It has 10 treadmills and six elliptical machines, weights and more. It will be open 24/7, he said, adding that area is equipped with garage doors so they can air the place out. The gym also features Apple televisions, through which students can access programming and music via their iPhones. "We also plan to stream Lobo athletic events on the televisions," he said.

Vice President of Student Affairs Eliseo "Cheo" Torres said, "I was an undergraduate in southwest Texas, where the humidity is always high. We didn't even have air conditioning. I'd sure like to be a student now."

Welcome home, Lobos!

See slideshow.

See the Lobo Village website.  The Lobo Village telephone number is (505) 925-5577

Media contact: Carolyn Gonzales, 277-5920; e-mail: cgonzal@unm.edu