Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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August 26, 2009

Overcrowding the ‘suite’ life at Lon Morris

By Nathan Straus

nstraus@jacksonvilleprogress.com

Certain Lon Morris College students will not need bedding, miniature refrigerators or televisions. They won’t even need to clean their rooms. These students won’t stay in dormitory facilities this school semester, but rather, they will reside in specific Jacksonville motels.

Michael James, director of communications for the college, said this is part of an arrangement the college and two area motels have agreed on.

“We were originally looking at the numbers we had and realized we needed more room,” James stated.

The student population for Lon Morris has exploded this year with a record-shattering number of incoming freshmen. Over 600 students have registered for fall classes, which smashed the previous 1968 personal best by over 100 faces.

A problem associated with having more students, is the need for space to keep them in.

James said America’s Best Value Inn on Highway 79 and Trade Winds on Highway 69 contacted the LMC administration and the housing director to line up specifics. The students now in the rooms will occupy the motels for at least one semester.

He also noted when the motel rooms are compared with the dorm rooms and what all is required to bring them to a standard befitting a college student, those housed in the motels got the better side of the bargain.

After all, there’s something to be said about having one’s room cleaned up twice a week without having to lift a finger.

The communications director said students will have access to local cable channels on the televisions, as well as pool access.

America’s Best Value Inn holds around 170 students, while Trade Winds houses close to 60. Every room in each building has been booked throughout the semester.

“I’d imagine we were given discounts for booking the entire motel for so long,” James said.

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