Witt announces 35,000 enrollment goal

UA President Robert Witt announced a new enrollment goal of 35,000 students by 2020 at Thursday’s board of trustees meeting, according to the Tuscaloosa News.

Enrollment reached Witt’s initial goal of 28,000 in fall 2009. According to the Tuscaloosa News report, Witt said he feels the University can handle the growth with its current facilities.

“We feel the University can grow from where we are now without having to construct any new academic buildings,” Witt said, according to the report.

The Tuscaloosa News reported that Witt considered the downsides of a new, higher enrollment goal, among them a change in the University’s on-campus culture.

“We believe adding 5,000 students is not going to affect that culture, but we will be monitoring it on the way,” he said.

The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees also approved a number of resolutions Friday to allow for construction of several Greek houses.

The Board approved the construction of new Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Gamma Delta, Delta Delta Delta and Gamma Delta sorority houses, which will be located in a new sorority development zone located on Magnolia Drive behind the President's Mansion. The Board also approved the construction of a new Phi Delta Theta Fraternity house, located on the corner of University Boulevard and Second Avenue.

The University will fund the project via future revenue bonds. A bond of about $10 million will finance Alpha Delta Pi’s construction, which will be in the form of a loan to the sorority in the amount of about $7 million. The remainder of the balance will be accounted for by the appraised value of the existing house, as well as cash reserves.

Alpha Gamma Delta's construction requires a bond of about $8 million. The sorority will receive a loan in the amount of about $6 million. The remainder of the balance will be accounted for by the appraised value of the existing house, as well as cash reserves.

Delta Delta Delta's house will be funded by a bond of about $12 million, with their loan allocation around $9 million. The appraised value of the existing house, as well as cash reserves, will account for Delta Delta Delta's difference, as well.

Delta Gamma, which will come to the University in fall 2011, was granted a future revenue bond from the University for the construction of their initial sorority house. The nearly $6 million bond will be in the form of a $5,750,000 loan. The remainder of the balance will be offset by funds provided from Delta Gamma's National Housing Corporation.

Phi Delta Theta was granted about $6 million in future revenue bonds in the form of a loan of about $5 million. The difference will be accounted for by the appraisal of the current house in addition to the fraternity's cash reserves.

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