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Before the ribbon was even cut, the 22 new family housing units at Utah State University were already reserved. The remaining 54 townhouse-style apartments, scheduled for completion by Jan. 1, will fill just as quickly, according to USU President George H. Emert.

Emert hosted Logan Mayor Darla Clark, Doug Thompson, chief executive officer of the Cache Chamber of Commerce, and other distinguished guests at a ribbon cutting/open house Monday to mark the completion of the first phase of the $6.6 million, 76-unit family housing project. The completed 22 units represent the first student housing built at Utah State in nearly three decades.USU, first school in the nation to provide on-campus housing for married students, accommodated those students on the top floors of the Ray B. West Building in 1917-18, Emert said. After World War II, students with families were housed in Quonset huts, army barracks and trailers. The Triads (Aggie Village) family housing units were constructed in the 1960s.

When complete, the new family housing complex, north of Aggie Village on 1200 East, will include four single-story, wheelchair-accessible units in addition to 72 two-story, 996-square-foot apartments. Each of the two-bedroom units, designed and constructed by Logan firms Design West and Spindler Construction, respectively, costs $69 per square foot.

The need for student housing is acute, Emert said. As the fastest-growing university in the state, USU has had a 35 percent increase in enrollment over the past five years. A record 19,000 students are anticipated once classes begin Sept. 28 and final enrollment figures are tallied.

Utah State has the capacity to house only 16 percent of it students on campus even with the new and planned family and single units. The goal is 20 percent for a true residential campus, Emert added.

Student body president Dave Butterfield expressed gratitude for the "proactive response of the administration in support of student housing and other needs." Butterfield said that the fact that he had been invited to speak underscored the administration's awareness of the students' pressing housing needs. He encouraged USU officials to also continue to upgrade the existing residence halls. He also encouraged lawmakers to fund USU's enrollment growth at 100 percent.

While visitors toured the new family units, concrete was being poured to the east for the $6.7 million single-students housing project. The 234 single units will be ready for occupancy in Sept. 1995.