UMaine Augusta opens first student housing in school history

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HALLOWELL, Maine (WABI) - Many college students across the state are moving into their dorms this week.

But for the few dozen students that moved into Stevens Hall at U-Maine Augusta Thursday, it marks a historic first.

"It is our first foray into residential students," said UMA Dean of Students Sheri Fraser. "We will be housing 36 students and a full-time residence manager. The students are mostly new to UMA students, so a mix of first-year students and transfer students."

After 54 years of not having student housing, students say that being able to live and learn with their peers is going to be a huge boost for their education.

"It's crazy," said UMA Student-Athlete Daquan Hayes. "I was the first one here. Pretty good. Everybody is doing a good job at getting me acclimated to feel right at home, and the place is beautiful. It was an easy transition thus far, you know, I still got some things to unpack, but I'm enjoying it so far."

Hayes transferred to UMA to play point guard for the Moose basketball team.

He says being part of the first class to live in student housing is a special opportunity.

"It's a great feeling to be a part of something from the ground up, and to be part of something new," said Hayes. "Hopefully we can do something to go along with that, so when you look back at the first class hopefully we come in and we have the highest GPA or something like that and it's a good winning season for us."

Students say that having this new dorm is going to allow them to make friends easier as school gets started.

"Now I kind of know people, so it's not gonna be -- you know I'm not just the new, but I'm out of state so I don't know anybody here besides my roommates and some of the staff," said UMA Student Elisabeth Olguin.

UMA officials say they hope to expand student housing in the future.