Luxury grows as newest trend in college housing

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) Take a look at a complex off of Cherokee Trail boast five swimming pools, a fully equipped gym, computer lab, putting green and movie theater, and you may be surprised to find it filled with college students.

"I was sold immediately. You know, it's a college environment. It's fun. It's very nice," said UT junior Earl Whaley.

Most of the residents at the Woodlands of Knoxville are still on mom and dad's dime, and the luxury complex looks nothing like places that existed when mom and dad were in school.

"Even talking to my parents about places they were living when they were in college, they're just amazed about where I'm living up here," said UT junior Lydia Midgley.

"Everybody's wanting to live a more luxurious life as things go on. We try to spoil ourselves. You know, why not just live in some place that's very affordable and very nice," said Whaley.

The luxury includes everything from private bathroom to security systems.

"You know, when you're a student you go from living in the sluggish dorms and we want to live in a nice place where you have your own bathroom and it's clean. You don't really have to share anything with anybody," said Whaley.

It also includes plenty of place to take a break.

"It's just nice to have things to do, like extracurricularly. We're mostly students and going to school 5 days a week. You know, we like to take a break," said Midgley.

And as more complexes set to open over the next few years on campus, off of Aloca and in the Fort Sanders area, those in the business say luxury is the future.

"Times are changing and we want to cater to students. They know what they want," said Whaley.

Bedrooms at the Woodlands start at $475 a month, compared to more than $9,000 in housing costs in dorms at UT.


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