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Ohio College Students Find Off-Campus Housing at Water Park

Occasionally, college students find their dorm rooms aren’t ready or that more students than expected signed up for dormitory living, which bumps some residents off the list and forces them to find off-campus housing.

But officials at cramped Capital University in Bexley, Ohio, came up with a solution that’s either creatively refreshing or all wet.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, about 30 students will be housed temporarily at the Fort Rapids Indoor Water Park Resort in Columbus, until additional space opens up later in the semester. Suites at the resort can accommodate three to eight students at a time.

While some may consider that a rehearsal for spring break, the resort has experience with housing college students, including visiting athletes for Capital University sporting events. Mike Robinson, Fort Rapids’ marketing and sales director, told the Columbus Dispatch the resort didn’t expect any problems.

Besides, a university residence employee and a student assistant will be on hand to help students, who will have access to the water park on weekends.

“It’s not ideal, but we’re trying to make the best situation of this that we can, and let them have a little fun along the way,” university spokeswoman Nichole Johnson told the Dispatch, noting that more returning students than normal wanted to live on campus, along with a larger than usual freshman class.

It wouldn’t be the first time a college or university was forced to find space elsewhere for students.

George Washington University housed students for a while in a Howard Johnson motel. The university later bought the building and turned it into an official residence hall.

When I was a student at Fordham University, I spent a semester living in an apartment building owned by the university that was just outside the campus gates.

One year, Virginia Tech offered buyouts to students who were willing to cancel their housing contracts and move off campus.

Some students solve their housing problems in a myriad of ways from subletting apartments or house-sitting for faculty to applying for lodging at the teaching farm on campuses – trading sweat equity for housing fees – or getting temporary space at a fraternity or sorority house that isn’t full.

Somehow, though, it doesn’t have the same, splashy appeal as a water park.

Jackie Jones, a journalist and journalism educator, is director of the career transformation firm Jones Coaching LLC and author of “Taking Care of the Business of You: 7 Days to Getting Your Career on Track.”

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