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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Plans for Hotel on Campus Resurface

A ballooning Stony Brook University will soon get an addition. A hotel will be built on the West Campus, said President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., who announced the new project to the campus community Wednesday by email.

Stony Brook Harbor Construction will fund and build the five-story, 135-guest room hotel just east of the Administration building, according to Lauren Sheprow, interim director of Media Relations. It will occupy 11 acres of land to help accommodate the university’s half million yearly guests. Although university officials have not determined when the project will begin, after the groundbreaking they said construction would last approximately two years. Additionally, a University Senate memo revealed developer Stony Brook Harbor Construction is in discussion with the Hilton hotel chain to operate the structure.

But some students ask why a congested Stony Brook University campus with several aged buildings and guest accommodations nearby needs a hotel.

‘I think that it’s not necessary, since we do have a hotel within a half mile of the university,’ said Meghan Buckley, a freshman, referring to the nearby Holiday Inn on Nesconset Highway. The 18-year-old undecided major wondered if the expense of a new hotel would be passed on to students in the form of higher tuition rates. Similarly, senior Krystal Desantoss said, ‘I don’t see why they would build a hotel right now when there are buildings that need to be fixed.’ Desantoss, a women’s studies major, said she’s learning in classrooms and buildings that are falling apart.

According to Sheprow, however, university funds will not be used to construct the new hotel. The money will come from the developer. The revenue will be placed in a separate account to be managed by Stony Brook Foundation Realty. Officials did not comment on how the revenue would be used to benefit the campus.

A hotel on the West Campus of Stony Brook University has been in the works for several years. ‘There has been ground lease legislation for a campus based hotel in place for 20 years. That is how long it took to establish a relationship that was mutually agreeable and fiscally sound for the developer and for the university,’ Sheprow said. There is an annual ground lease payment of $100,000 with a 3 percent annual escalation fee.

But a symbiotic relationship between developer Stony Brook Harbor Construction and university officials may not translate into an accord between university administration and students. For one, congestion on the West campus could worsen during and after the two-year construction project.

The new hotel will have an entrance off Circle Road and its own parking area for the influx of visitors. Campus guests for events such as commencements, convocation ceremonies, homecoming, Parents and Family Weekend, and guests visiting patients at Stony Brook University Medical Center could potentially overcrowd the entrance as drivers using the administration parking garage converge with hotel guests and other traffic.

The exterior of the hotel will mimic the brick facade of the Humanities building, and boast a 5,000 square foot meeting room, a restaurant, indoor pool, exercise room and sundry shop.

‘I think that having a hotel on campus could have its advantages. When parents come they stay at the Holiday Inn Express. It would provide competition at a lower price,’ said John Kriscenski, vice president of University Student Government. ‘There is a potential opportunity to have a hotel management program. Cornell University has one, but that would have to be in the contract.’

‘It won’t conflict with a thing. It will help with hosting. If those things are true then it’s going to be a pretty sweet deal.’ said Jasper Wilson, president of the USG.

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