Posted on the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus – 1-10-16

Students move into Cleary apartmentsYou may notice heavy traffic flow in Genoa Township near Cleary University this weekend.That’s because students are began moving into their new apartments on campus, right before the spring semester of classes begins.

You heard right — students will be moving on campus at Cleary University.

“This is a huge thing for Cleary and the first step to transforming the university to a more traditional one,” said Isaac Miller, a marketing student and Cleary University marketing intern.

The new 86-bed, 21-unit apartment facility at 3730 Cleary Drive is officially complete and ready for occupants.

Last week, the Livingston Daily staff received an exclusive tour inside the brand-new building.

Of the 86 beds available, two are planned to accommodate resident assistants in the L-shaped, 12,787-square-foot building.

The three-level building has everything students need. Each floor has a spacious studying and lounge area with tables, couches and TVs.

The walls framing each apartment hallway are soundproof so interruptions outside can be kept to a minimum.

“We even had the Brighton Area Fire Department come and inspect the building … so they know where to go in case of an emergency,” said Gary Bachman, Cleary University facility director.

Each student will receive an electronic card to swipe in order to get into one of three main doors as well as their room.

“There are two rooms with four beds, and students share with a roommate that they can request or we pair,” Bachman said.

The rooms are painted in light colors and have several windows for natural lighting, and are fully furnished with laundry units, beds, desks, chairs, couches and a TV stand. Students will be able to use the university WiFi.

Students will have the option of bunking their beds or keeping them separate.

Each room has a full bathroom.

Sounds too good to be true? It’s not. The cost to live in either suite option — which also includes gas, electric, water, trash and sewer — is $4,800 per semester, or $9,600 annually.

“We did our best to make sure students had everything they need to live comfortably on campus,” Bennett said.

The initial grand opening of the building was slated for Aug. 1 but “Mother Nature prevented that from happening,” said Matt Bennett, communications and enrollment management vice president at the Genoa Township school.

“The weather caused a lot of delays in construction,” Bennett said. “We couldn’t get things up and running for a good month-and-a-half due to the snow last winter and the rain this past spring.”

Because of that delay, the university set up alternate housing for the fall semester at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Brighton. Students were also able to use their meal plan at certain downtown restaurants.

“All of those students will be transferring over to the new apartments,” Bachman said.

Even though the entire apartment complex is complete, only roughly half of the apartments will be occupied this semester.

“People are already locked into one-year leases and don’t want to pay to get out of it, so we will see the whole building full by this upcoming fall,” Miller said.

Only those who take classes at the university are able to live in the apartment complex.

“We want a more traditional campus, and I think this is exciting for the university because it’s the next step to making that happen,” Miller said, who intends on becoming a resident assistant next year.

The building will help meet the needs of the university’s growing number of traditional students and act as a recruitment tool.

In fall 2015, around 130 traditional students — students who don’t commute to and from school — attended the university, which university officials said was thanks to the reintroduction of the intercollegiate athletic program.

Bennett said he believes Livingston County will soon see new talent in the area.

“We have an estimated $10 million to $12 million impact on the community by adding this new apartment complex because new people will be eating at our restaurants, shopping and working here,” Bennett said. “We are very excited it’s the time for students to finally move in and see the final product.”