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U of M Rochester plans to expand its campus

Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 10:40 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) –The University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) has its eyes on vacant downtown spaces to expand its campus.

“We have grown 13 percent so far during the pandemic, with enrollment expecting to rise again for the coming fall,” said Lori Carrell, UMR chancellor.

She said the university has an enrollment goal for the next school year.

“We’re moving towards our first milestone which would be a thousand students. Hope to celebrate in the fall,” Carrell said.

UMR was founded 16 years ago. The first graduating class was in 2013.

The university said enrollment growth means students need more on-campus facility options.

“Academic space, housing, of course, has been a pressing need,” Carrell said. “We need well-being space now with the decision from the Y.”

She said the UMR has a partnership with the YMCA for recreation. Many students would use the facility before it closed in January.

KTTC asked the chancellor if the former Y building is being considered for campus expansion.

“Not at this time,” Carrell said.

She said the expansion is not just about the number of students but the quality of education for students.

“With our strategic enrollment plan, we have three milestones, 1,000,1,500 and 2,500 [students enrolled]. At each milestone investment in facilities, and additional faculty and staff will be needed to grow to the next stage. We do anticipate reaching that first milestone this upcoming fall,” Carrell said.

A few UMR students also believe a campus expansion is needed.

“I’m hoping we’ll have more maybe gym facilities, and recreation stuff as well. Of course more opportunities for medical,” said David Ajay

“If there’s more apartment buildings as I know many students live off-campus because there aren’t enough buildings for every student to live here right now,” said Mikayla Hanson

“The university has expanded a lot. I feel like with that expansion needs to come like more places for students to live obviously. So, I think that’s a great opportunity that the university is expanding to new vacant areas,” said Neal Sannuli.

UMR plans to make a formal announcement of the expansion plans within the next couple of months.

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