Housing Florida’s Students

Since it has at times been a challenge for the students at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) to find appropriate accommodation while studying, there could be good news ahead.  What was once a factory – Monier Lifetile – will now become a four-story complex housing close to 600 students. 

Located at NW 20th Street, it is hoped that this factory that once produced tiles and is hardly noticeable any more since it has been deserted for some time, will be rejuvenated with student activity.  So that sounds like good news.  However, not everyone is so pleased.  Officials from Florida Atlantic University and some employees from the city are not too happy about it this move that is slate for completion within the next three years. But proponents of the move, including the city’s Mayor, Susan Whelchel, argue that what is more likely to happen is that the area will get a facelift and become a pleasant village of shops and eateries specifically catering to the needs of students.  So in favor of the work being done on the project, that Whelchel herself made its construction one of “the most pressing council priorities for the coming year.”

Another FAU Building Issues

Besides, it is about time FAU got some positive reinforcement vis-à-vis its buildings issues.  As it is, its St. Lucie West extension has been described as “an embarrassment,” it’s such a mess.  Indeed, it is said that it is in such a poor state that it implies one of two things: either the city’s potential students are choosing other cities for their studies; or that there aren’t enough students who qualify for college acceptance, which gives the city a pretty poor academic reputation.

But if one just takes a look at the school’s accounting scholars program, it seems this is not the case at all.  One hundred percent of the program’s 23 graduates this year from the FAU are leaving with a job to go to, in their field.    As well, 80 percent of its undergraduate students have a summer internship.  As the School of Accounting’s director, Kimberly Dunn, proudly pointed out, “in its short history, the Accounting Scholars Program has developed an outstanding reputation of academic and professional excellence.” I am extremely proud of the tremendous success of our students and alumni.” Now that doesn’t seem consistent with a FAU having a poor academic reputation at all.

So it remains to be seen who is correct – the opponents of the work or people in Mayor Whelchel’s camp who are very much in favor of making this happen for FAU.