WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - A Purdue graduate student advocacy organization is hosting a reverse town hall Thursday evening about the eventual demolition of the Purdue Village apartment buildings.
Graduate Rights and Our Well-Being is hosting a reverse town hall Thursday at 4:30 p.m. where Purdue Village residents will get to speak to university leaders about this impact.
"There's a need for housing people can afford," said David Savage, a member of GROW.
Purdue Village has been filling that need for decades. The buildings were originally built in the 1950's and 60's. However, the university is soon putting an end to that.
"They're doing a partial decommission now so some buildings are going to be emptied and demolished very soon as I understand it," said Savage.
Purdue has been public with the decommission plan since at least the fall of 2019. Buildings 201-216 have been emptied for several months. The original plan was to demolish them over the summer of 2020, however the pandemic through a wrench into those plans.
Those who lived in those buildings were either re-housed in other open Purdue Village buildings, re-housed in other on campus housing or were forced to find off campus accommodations.
"Purdue Village is one of the most practical and affordable housing options for grad students, especially international grad students or grad students with families," said Savage.
The area used to have its own daycare center. Dozens of childrens bikes can be seen parked outside doors or near the central playground. Savage said it is a tight knit community in Purdue Village where many residents rely on each other to watch kids while grad student parents are in the labs working on research.
As several Purdue Village buildings sit empty, construction is well underway for a brand new apartment complex right across the street.
"Average one bedroom in West Lafayette is around $800," he said. "Purdue Village is around $650 for a family in a one bedroom and that includes utilities."
Savage added that on a graduate student salary, many can't afford much more than what Purdue Village offers.
He said the university has a pattern of making decisions before fully reaching out to those who will be heavily impacted by those decisions. People from the university housing department and the vice dean from the graduate school will be attending Thursday's reverse town hall. Savage hopes they will listen.
"We hope they come away with a better understanding of the challenges a lot of the students who are being moved out Purdue Village are facing," he said.
You have to pre-register for Thursday's event. Click here to do so.