University Plans To House Students In Shipping Containers

One of the issues that many people face when they head off to college is finding a suitable place to live. There may be some options on campus, or they may look off-campus at local rentals.

Try as they might, there seem to be some difficulties in most cases of finding housing that will be good for everyone involved. Issues may arise, from unruly roommates to unsafe conditions.

Photo: Flickr/Maureen License: CC BY 2.0

Fisk University has developed a plan to address the issue and make suitable housing available for all students. That community University, located in Nashville, Tennessee, will be housing its students in shipping containers, according to Denver 7.

Shipping containers have become popular as a building option, and you may have seen everything from tiny homes to large family homes built using those containers. Fisk University is going to retrofit decommissioned shipping containers and turn them into dorm rooms.

According to Denver 7, the plan is to have these new dorm rooms available for the fall semester of 2023. It was a solution Executive Vice President at the University, Jens Frederiksen, provided after receiving it from a trustee.

Photo: Pexels/Chanaka

Not only will this provide suitable housing for the students, but it would also be an affordable way for them to live. The University has seen rapid growth recently, and this is an option that may help.

The containers are designed to offer a simple living solution, with a bed, kitchen, lounging area, and bathroom.

Denver 7 reports that Frederiksen said: “I think the beauty of it is you can actually stack them up to levels of four is what we had originally looked at.” Since they are stacked in levels of two, you could create a 200-bed availability in the space available.

Photo: YouTube/Hbcugrad

This idea is being heralded as one that will help the student population, but it isn’t unique. The first school to use shipping containers was the College of Idaho, which did it in 2020.

As far as the students are concerned, Frederiksen says they appreciate the sustainable solution. A sophomore at the school stated that sustainability is important to consider for many students.

That sophomore, Gift Eni, said: “It’s repurposing something that was old and making it new. As soon as the videos dropped, like they did the tour of the inside and we were all ‘I don’t know how we apply to this, but I need to apply to it immediately. I need to be living here like yesterday.'”

The use of shipping containers also sparked some interest among other universities. They recognize that real estate prices nationwide continue to make it difficult for students to live off campus.

Eni spoke about how the school would be more accessible for students using these shipping container dorm rooms. It provides suitable housing and the ability to get to school on time.

Approximately 30 prospective students have already called and said they would like to get into the containers. Frederiksen says they won’t use the first come, first serve requests as an option. They will likely do a lottery.

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