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UTPB Officials Break Ground On Housing That Will Add Nearly 200 Rooms

Officials and students alike praise the addition
ODESSA -- UTPB is a growing university that's expanding their presence, but it's getting harder for prospective students to find housing around Odessa.

Lucero Sandoval is a student from Pecos and she says right now it's fine, but she knows people that want to attend and recognizes that the housing needs to expand.


"I know still a lot of people that want to come here and alot of areas are getting full and people can't find anywhere to live, so I think it's good that they're building more buildings," Sandoval said.


To that end, the university held a ceremonial groundbreaking on their latest phase of student housing, which will add 198 rooms.


It's apartment style housing that will bring their total up over 900 rooms.


University President David Watts says housing is an important factor in attracting more students to come to UTPB.


"Folks from around the area, Pecos, Monahans, Big Spring and north and south of us need someplace to stay in order to attend UT Permian Basin," Watts said.


Watts says students have come from as far away as Houston and as the university grows, it's important they have someplace to stay with apartments across the city being completely full due to the current oil boom.


Director of Housing Chermae Peele says UTPB is becoming more and more attractive as programs become more prominent, citing the successful basketball season last year, as well as the Nursing and Engineering programs at UTPB.


She also thinks as the university continues to grow, they'll be able to compete with the "big boys" like [Texas] A&M and Texas.


"For the type of education that you get here, for the quality of housing and the student life that's growing I think we will be able to compete with those schools," Peele said.


For Sandoval, as a student, she's just happy that she'll be able to cook in her new unit.


"I'm glad i have a kitchen; I can cook now," she said.


This latest addition comes with a price tag of more than $19 million and is scheduled to open Fall 2014.


These buildings are going to continue the apartment style housing already in place as President Watts says the old barracks style dorms are no longer relevant.

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