Drawing on the private supply of off-campus apartments could help ease the crunch on Auburn University’s campus housing, according to the university’s housing chief.

Bobby Woodard, senior vice president for student affairs, told Auburn University’s board of trustees during a Thursday work session that he is working on getting students “off the Hill,” the outdated cluster of student dorms on the south end of campus.

Renovations are already being planned for the Village Residence Hall complex, to the tune of $15 million to $16 million, and other dorms are likely to get renovations in the near future as part of retiring the buildings on the Hill. A new dorm and office site is also possible for the Haley concourse in the center of campus.

Woodard’s office also has reached out to local apartment operators about leasing buildings, with the option to buy at some point.

“We had a lot of interest from apartment complexes in the city, a lot more than we thought we would have,” Woodard told trustees. “… I do believe some of apartment owners think our community might be overbuilt.”

Woodard was quick to point out later that any such partnerships would be subject to strict security screenings, public health considerations and the like.

The board of trustees meets at 8 a.m. Friday at the Auburn University Hotel and Conference Center.

The agenda includes formal action on a proposed cap for campus enrollment at 25,000 students per year, with freshman classes no bigger than 5,000. There would be a target of 60 percent for in-state freshmen accepted onto campus.

Discussion is also expected about possibly starting a presidential search. Former President Jay Gogue returned on an interim basis this summer when Steven Leath stepped down after two years at the university’s helm.

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