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Minnesota West student housing project on schedule

Minnesota West Community and Technical College's first student housing project continues to take shape on the college's Worthington campus. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

WORTHINGTON — Minnesota West Community and Technical College’s first student housing project is beginning to take shape in both structure and coordination.  

Just two months after the Bluejay Villas’ official groundbreaking event on the college’s Worthington campus, construction crews have made substantial visible progress and are on schedule for August occupancy.

“We should be right on time with move-in — not only for general students, but also for student-athletes coming early for any sports reasons,” said Ryan Clasey, director of property management for Bluffstone LLC — the housing project designer from Davenport, Iowa.

Despite the three-story, 108-bed student dwelling still being under construction, spots are already starting to fill up. The college recently hired Worthington native Emily Williamson to handle current and future students’ residence needs.

Williamson, a two-time Minnesota West graduate. said enough student applications have been generated that the leasing phase has begun.

“I have two to three students a day submitting applications online or coming into my office on campus,” Williamson said. “I have no doubt we’ll be able to fill it.”

Clasey agreed.

“Interest is extremely high and starting off pretty well,” he said. “We target that this project should be 100 percent leased out.”

Bluffstone employees visited Minnesota West this week to see the progress and provide an update.

Clasey said despite some expected cold weather, general contractor Brennan Companies of Mankato continues to make impressive progress.

The first-floor framing, he added, will likely be complete very soon, and second-floor framing can then begin.

When finished, the fully furnished student housing facility will feature both shared and private bedrooms and bathrooms, Clasey said.

The two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit will run at $450 per student and the four-bathroom unit at $550 per student. Students will make 10 installments at the appropriate rate depending on their unit type.

While reviewing applications and generating leases is the immediate need, Williamson is already looking ahead to the fall.

“I have a plethora of ideas that go through my mind for student engagement activities,” she said.

Some of those ideas include a move-in welcome day, getting connected day and developing an intramurals program.

“I feel like our fitness and gym facility is underused by students, so by incorporating an intramural program we should get a lot more students interacting, learning and having fun together — and that’s what the (Bluejay) Villas is all about,” she said. “We’re trying to foster a really unique student housing community.”

The Bluejay Villas will also feature a 3,000-square-foot clubhouse for student activity. Clasey said the clubhouse will have a gaming room, fitness center, vending machines, laundry center, study rooms and a manager’s office.

Williamson said she has also been busy marketing the anticipated student housing facility, which includes aiming to generate interest from Minnesota West students in programs on the Jackson campus. She said the college already offers a busing system between the two campuses that she hopes students take advantage of.

“(The Bluejay Villas) are going to be such a great asset to Minnesota West,” Williamson said. “This is something that is way long overdue.”

For residency questions, Bluejay Villas may be reached at 360-0902. Students may also visit Williamson in the student services building on the Worthington campus. Applications are also accessible at  

For construction and student life updates, follow @bluejayvillas on Twitter or Instagram or Bluejay Villas Facebook page.

Alyssa Sobotka

Alyssa joined The Globe in July 2017 and covers education and crime beats. The Nebraska native earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. In her own sarcastic tone, her blog, Aimlessly Navigating, recounts the reality, pitfalls and triumphs of a young 20-something navigating to maturity. Follow her on Twitter: @alyssasobotka