River Hawk Village, formally known as Perkins, houses 780 students. (Courtesy of UMass Lowell)
With the growing number of students attending UMass Lowell in the fall of 2017, quick decisions had to be made as to where and how to accommodate the new members of the growing university. UMass Lowell has made a university town of an industrial city in a short period of time, and with that comes its newest residence hall, River Hawk Village, which was previously known as the Perkins Complex.
Students who decided that the River Hawk Village was for them had a few choices when determining what their new living arrangements would be come this semester. The Village offers three separate styles which include Townhouse Deluxe, Deluxe and Standard units. All three units are outfitted with a dishwasher and kitchen complete with a stovetop, oven, microwave and refrigerator. The apartments are also supplied a washer and dryers, and students who have vehicles on campus are allowed access to the Hall Street Parking Garage.
“River Hawk Village provides many benefits to students, including a highly desirable location of East Campus, adjacent to the Tsongas Center, LeLacheur Park and just a few steps away from the Campus Recreation Center,” said Director of Media Communications for UMass Lowell Christine Gillette.
River Hawk Village is also located on a historic site that was formally owned by a Lawrence Mills complex along with the Hoff Alumni Center, which is located next door.
“River Hawk Village has retained that historic look, but has undergone extensive remodeling and upgrades, so that it has all of the modern conveniences of other university housing and some additional features,” said Gillette.
The university’s newest housing strategy consists of providing 50 percent of undergraduates the ability to live on campus. The new apartment style housing complex now offers over 700 incoming or returning students the ability to live on campus rather than commute from home. And just two weeks into the semester, students have already started voicing their opinions on the new building and what it may offer to the growing campus.
Veronica Uk and Jalyssa Pena are two of those students that both share a standard apartment unit in River Hawk Village. Both major in international business with a concentration in marketing. Both said they thought, at first, that River Hawk Village was the ideal location for them when deciding on their new living arrangements for the coming semester since they both have classes on North Campus.
“It’s like a loft, but there are no walls separating the bedroom and the kitchen. By the looks of it, they turned a studio apartment into a quad. You can see everything. There is simply no privacy,” said Pena.
Both said they are equally content with the fact that they can make their own food and wash their clothes whenever they see fit, but it seems to be very complicated to go about their morning without waking up another one of their roommates.
“The building itself is really nice. I just don’t enjoy that we got put into a studio style quad,” said Uk.
Despite both students having a kitchen and food at their disposal, both said they are still required to have a meal plan under the university because they do not have a dining room table, regardless of the full counter top and chairs provided for them to eat upon.
Uk and Pena are not the only students that have concerns involving River Hawk Village. Damon Best, another business major, who lives in a deluxe style unit has said he has concerns for the coming winter.
“Living this far away from North Campus makes me worried, because we don’t have a shuttle that will be provided for us in the winter. I don’t know about you, but I am not ready to enter into that weather and cross that bridge,” said Best.
River Hawk Village is the most expensive building currently on campus. The Standard unit alone is $11,023 and the Townhouse Deluxe unit reaches $11,851. With the overwhelming issues brought about by residents in the new building, many students wonder if living in the complex is worth the cost.
“Overall I don’t know if it’s worth the amount they’re making us pay,” said Pena.
Editor’s note: Gillette’s quotes were mistakenly attributed to Chancellor Moloney. We sincerely apologize for the error.