JACKSONVILLE, Ala. — 22 mobile homes were ordered to house students at Jacksonville State University amidst a local housing shortage the school announced Tuesday. The announcement appears to be one of the school's final solutions to the housing woes caused by the March 19th tornado.
"Unfortunately there’s a stigma to it. Whether it’s fair or not is a totally other issue. It’s one of those things when you realize that when you have no other options that it’s the thing to do," said university president Dr. John Beehler.
The two bedroom/two bath units will each house two students. The mobile homes will be made available on a first come, first served basis to students on the housing waiting list for the fall. 150 students were on the list as of July 19th according to the school's website.
Three of the units will be located at Goodlett Avenue NW and 19 will be located at Mountain Street NW. Each will feature all new appliances, including hookups for washers/dryers if residents want to bring their own to campus the school said in a release.
"Frankly these are so nice I think the students will actually enjoy living in them," said Beehler.
The Gamecock Village and The Reserve at Jacksonville apartment complexes suffered heavy damage during the March 19th tornado. The apartments were popular off-campus housing options for JSU students. Gamecock Village hoped to have a majority of its apartments ready by August and more open in September according to Jacksonville State University President John Beehler. The Reserve was not scheduled to re-open until 2019 according to its website.
University officials as a result have been forced to get creative in order to house all the students arriving for the fall semester. The recently donated RMC Jacksonville hospital will house some nursing students who will also use the facility as a classroom. Salls Hall - a former athletic dorm used in recent years for offices and classrooms - will be brought back on line as a residence hall.
There has been some friction between the school and city officials since the tornado struck. The Jacksonville city council was not willing to change or provide a waiver to an ordinance which limits the number of renters living in a single residence. The school had requested this to help alleviate the housing shortage.
Students still seeking housing should call 256-782-5122. The fall semester begins August 21st.