Rental fees in Knollcrest East apartments to become more expensive

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The cost of living in the Knollcrest East apartments (KE) will rise by $250 per resident per year starting next year, according to a prioritization report released Monday morning.

“You have to make a hard decision, but this feels like a reasonable decision to me,” said John Witte, dean of residence life, said.

The rise in price comes at a time when KE is so full they have had to assist students in finding alternative housing.

“We had the biggest demand for KE that we had ever had, at least in recent years,” Witte said. “We had to turn a lot of people away this year.”

According to Annie Mas-Smith, area coordinator for KE, the increase in price is unlikely to have an effect on the demand for the apartments.

“When you crunch the numbers, it isn’t that big of an increase,” Mas-Smith said. “I still have students emailing me wanting to live there.”

The $250 increase breaks down to $125 per semester, or about $30 per month.

“I am OK with the increase,” said Kara Suppan, a junior resident of KE. “A $250 increase per year is not enough for me to get up in arms.”

The price changes will remain fixed for the foreseeable future.

“We are not planning on going up every year,” Witte said. “We have made a decision, and we will stick with that.”

According to the new prioritization report, the increase in rent will raise around $114,000 per year in revenue for KE.

According to Witte, many students choose to live in KE for the convenience of on-campus housing and the ease of not having to deal with a lease and utilities.

“I am an international student, so to get furniture and a lease on a house for two years just wasn’t worth it to me,” Paola Fuentes, a senior resident of KE said. “I am also living with two people who are going abroad, so it is a lot easier for us to be in the apartments.”

The convenience extends to things like maintenance and no commitment to pay for the apartment if students have to leave Calvin for whatever reason or want to study abroad.

“The college assumes some of the responsibility for students,” Witte said. “We are now just charging a little more for that responsibility.”

According to Fuentes, the increased price for KE is not enough to cause students to give up the convenience of the college taking some of the responsibility for students.

“I live in KE for the convenience,” Fuentes said. “They are just making that convenience more expensive.”

Rental rates for the apartments have not increased in eight years despite renovations to almost all of the facilities, the most recent of which was Zeta-Lambda this summer.

“The rental rates for KE stopped increasing eight years ago to stay competitive with off-campus options,” Witte said.

Phi Chi, the only building which has not had renovations, will be renovated this coming summer to make the price of KE the same for all buildings.

“We are renovating Phi Chi as part of normal upgrades,” Witte said. “The building has worn out and needs attention.”

After the renovations all apartment buildings will cost the same amount across the board.