Today’s news:

Queens College filling dorm’s beds

Queens College is well on its way to filling all of the 506 beds in the school’s first dormitory that will open at the end of August and which officials said will be a big boon to students’ academic and social lives.

As of last week, the school had 27 open beds in the dorm, named The Summit, which was completed for a price tag of about $70 million.It was paid for by a public/private partnership between Queens College and the Capstone Development Corp.

“The students are very excited about this,” said Joseph Bertolino, vice president for student affairs at Queens College. “We’re going to be able for the first time to provide students with a traditional residential college experience at half the price they’d pay at another state institution or private university.”

The dorm will help students to feel more connected to their peers and the college itself, school officials said.

“Students tend to do better academically if they live on campus,” said Bertolino, one of the administrators who will live in the dorm. “Students who live on campus tend to graduate in less time than those who are commuting. It’s because of a sense of community. You don’t have to worry about traffic. Your life is Queens College.”

Queens College President James Muyskens reiterated Bertolino’s sentiments, saying in a previous interview that “students will have much more time to spend with other students.”

“They will have more opportunities to engage in activities on the campus,” Muyskens said.

The Summit will be in the heart of the campus, just south of the FitzGerald Gymnasium. The low-rise, U-shaped building will have three wings.

Students will pay $9,000 annually for a double room, meaning they would share the space with a roommate, and $13,000 for a single unit. Each bedroom will be in a multi-occupancy suite that will include a kitchen, living room and bathroom.

Queens College senior Lindsay Unger, a Long Island resident, said the dorm will provide the residential experience she so missed after transferring from Boston University.

“There have been times I’ve left a club meeting after 11 p.m., arrived home near midnight and had to return to campus for a 9:30 a.m. class,” Unger said. “I practically live here already. I may as well have a bed.”

A history and Jewish Studies major who has a sociology minor, Unger said she especially looks forward to the short walk home after studying at the library.

“After senior year, I’m applying to grad school at Queens College, so I plan to continue to live on campus,” she said.

Undergraduate and graduate students may live in the dorm, and Bertolino said most of the students who have signed up for rooms are from the five boroughs and Long Island.

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 174.

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