Reporter: David Tate
Roanoke, VA - Students enrolled at Jefferson College of Health Sciences in Roanoke are getting a new home away from home, thanks to a new agreement between the school and the developers of the Patrick Henry Hotel.
The college will occupy several floors of the historic property once its $20 million upgrade is complete, expanding Roanoke's only downtown college campus.
Brook-lynn Velvin already has a nice view of Roanoke. It's a perk her and many other Jefferson College students have enjoyed since the school moved into a majority of what was once known as Roanoke Community Hospital over the summer.
Next year she'll give it up for something even better.
"Granite counter tops, individual washer and dryer, hardwood floors," Velvin said.
Starting next fall, as the Patrick Henry Hotel Building reopens following its 18-month overhaul. One-hundred-fifth Jefferson College of Health Science students will call several of these floors "home".
"This gives us the chance to give our students the opportunity to live in downtown Roanoke right where we're teaching them," Mark Lambert with the Jefferson College of Health Sciences said.
The move will help reaffirm the college's commitment to downtown Roanoke as they strive to provide something students have been asking for.
"It sounds like an apartment which is what a lot of us wanted. So they're listening to what we asked them to do and I'm glad it's in effect," Velvin said.
It isn't about just moving college kids into luxury apartments, however, because the average student age here is 25, but it is about working to help build a young, professional community within this historic landmark, that will include retail, residential and now student space.
Students that opt for campus living will sign year-long agreements to live in the former hotel. They plan to move in when the building reopens late next summer.