Task force will analyze student housing's effect on Tuscaloosa - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Task force will analyze student housing's effect on Tuscaloosa

Posted: Updated:
This is one of several new communities being built for students. Source: WBRC video This is one of several new communities being built for students. Source: WBRC video
TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) -

Two years after the April 27 tornado, Tuscaloosa is building back at a tremendous pace. Now the mayor wants to take a second look at one particular type of construction because it could change the Tuscaloosa skyline for years to come.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox created a task force to look at the amount of off-campus student housing available in the city.

"I think there's nothing wrong when you take a step back and you want to analyze a potential problem and collect the data and then try to make responsible decisions," Maddox said.

Enrollment at the University of Alabama has grown steadily over the years, reaching 31,827 students. Only 7,800 can live on-campus.

Even some students worry if all the off-campus housing is necessary.

"What concerns me I'd say is the density of the apartment complexes coming up," Alex Barnes said, who rents a house next to several complexes.

But Tuscaloosa City Councilman Bobby Howard thinks those people will need more off-campus housing.

"Tuscaloosa is beginning to really get into the big league so to speak and I don't think it's too fast. I think it's appropriate and I think it's very timely," Howard said.

Tuscaloosa put a lot of thought into the rebuilding after the April 27 tornado, but student housing wasn't in the considered plan.

Len Ruess wonders if that was a mistake.

"I think it damages the neighborhood," Ruess said. "When you put college housing apartment complex like that one going up over there, it brings 300 students in here and it just ruins the neighborhood with the traffic and all that."

The task force will have 16 to 20 members and it is not known when their first meeting will be. Mayor Maddox has set a Nov. 5 deadline to make recommendations.

Copyright 2013 WBRC. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow