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SIU Carbondale announced Tuesday it will no longer house students in the Towers.

CARBONDALE — Southern Illinois University Carbondale will no longer house students in the Towers, and will consolidate housing on the west side of campus this fall.

In a news release, SIU Carbondale Chancellor Carlo Montemagno announced that the university will centralize housing in the three-story residence halls at Thompson Point.

“By bringing students together in Thompson Point, we can continue to build a tightly knit, engaged community,” Montemagno said in the release. “It will also increase traffic to our Student Center, which should be a centerpiece of campus life.”

Montemagno said that although declines in enrollment contributed to the decision, it was primarily propelled by efforts to increase student engagement.

“As we rebuild enrollment in the years ahead, we will always have the option of having students on both sides of campus again,” he said. “For now, we can best serve students by making sure that they are part of a vibrant and active community.”

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SIU System President Randy Dunn first proposed consolidating housing on the west side of campus at a Board of Trustees working session in July 2017 after a consulting firm determined that plans to build new east-campus housing could not go forward.

In the release, Jon Shaffer, director of University Housing, said the change will also create efficiencies that could lower future room and board costs.

“We can effectively serve students in one dining hall instead of two, for example,” he said.

New students who have signed housing contracts for the fall will not be affected because they have not yet been assigned rooms, Shaffer said. The housing office will assist 500 to 600 returning students who have already selected rooms for the fall.

Living-learning communities for students who share similar majors or interests will also be relocated to the west side of campus.

The university will continue to offer housing at University Hall, Wall and Grand Apartments and Evergreen Terrace, according to the release.

The Gathering Place Snack Shop, currently located in Grinnell Hall, will move to University Hall.

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