YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown State University wants to make campus more appealing to students and is adding some new features.
Not only will there soon be shopping right on campus with a new plaza, but there is going to be brand new apartments, too.
The new University Edge Apartments opened this fall. By next fall, YSU is hoping to have the second phase of that complex up and ready for students as part of this project.
Breaking ground on the corner of Lincoln and 5th Avenue on Saturday, what was once a parking lot will be a Barnes and Noble, a convenient store and apartments for 220 students.
“They wanted more to do — more apartment-style living,” university President Jim Tressel said.
A couple of students said that they’re most excited about getting a convenient store since, right now, the closest one is about nine miles away in Boardman.
“It’s kind of hard when you want to go to the grocery store and you have to drive to Liberty or you have to drive to Boardman,” graduate student Taylor Phillips said. “I just think it’s really cool that hopefully these things are coming.”
President Tressel said this is just the beginning of making YSU’s campus more efficient for students. He added that projects like these will also start attracting prospective students from farther away.
“You have to provide people with the opportunity to live in a nice place, have things to do — conveniences that everyone needs,” Tressel said. “Just that opportunity to be around one another.”
“It’ll eventually evolve the student life into something a little bit less resembling a commuter campus and provide for that culture of community that we’re working towards,” YSU Student Body President Tyler Miller-Gordon said.
The apartments will be the second phase to the new four-story University Edge complex on Rayen Avenue. The first phase sold out leases months before it even opened.
The Barnes and Noble will be the YSU Bookstore replacing the one in Kilcawley. A convenient store and café will be attached to the book store.
“I think it will enhance my student life here,” freshman Lucas Garland said. “It’ll bring more students around in the area and overall just make YSU better.”
Although it’s on YSU property, the school is leasing the lot to the developers, so it won’t cost the school anything.