South Fork Suites increases student housing options
September 23, 2005
The newest addition to the UW-River Falls residence halls, George R. Field South Fork Suites, located on the east side of campus, is now open to students. The suites opened to students in early August and the 240-bed residence hall is near capacity. Mike Stifter, Director of Student Life Facilities, said there are currently only two openings for female students in the suites.
Each of the 60 four-person suites has four single bedrooms, a living room, a dining area/kitchenette, and a bathroom. There are eight wings, containing large kitchen/lounge areas for cooking meals and a laundry area. The residence hall also has meeting rooms, exercise facilities, floor lounges, a large lobby and air conditioning.
“It’s exciting to have a new suite style option to offer students,” Stifter said of the new residence hall.
Kendra Knutson, a junior studying Agricultural Marketing Communications at UW-RF, moved into the suites Sept. 2 and so far she said she loves the suites. “It’s really nice,” she said. “Better than I expected.”
Knutson said she and some friends were originally going to move somewhere off campus but at the last minute decided on South Fork Suites and had no problem getting in.
Knutson lived in Johnson Hall last year and she said that South Fork Suites is “lots better.”
She said that it is a lot bigger than she expected and has lots of storage space, something that is much improved from the other residence halls. Although it is a little bit farther from campus than most residence halls, Knutson said, “I like the walk.”
The opening of South Fork Suites has had some setbacks, like fire alarms going off, and the air-conditioning not working, but Knutson said that fire alarms are always going off in all of the residence halls so she is used to it.
“There are certainly some building nuances that have surfaced,” Stifter said about the suites. He also added, “While opening a new building has its challenges, the staff and residents have been excellent.”
There has not been too much complaint around campus about the small problems from the residents who are 70 percent female and 30 percent male. Everyone just seems preoccupied with classes and happy about their new nine-month home.
“The students are making an awesome transition from living in traditional residence halls to having a bit more independence while still remaining connected to campus,” said Nikki Peters, South Fork Suites Hall Manager. “I’ve been most impressed and appreciative of how patient and helpful the students have been while we are still finding out the unique characteristics of the building.”