Livingston campus came to life on Thursday morning as new students and their families pushed containers of apartment furnishings through the doors of the new Livingston Apartments on move-in day.
The recently completed university-run apartments buildings are a large part of the revitalization of Livingston Campus. They will house 1,500 students in two, three and four person occupancy units.
Each apartment contains a kitchen, a living area, private sinks and showers and heat and air conditioning that can be individually controlled.
Elsewhere in each building are student lounges, study rooms, billiards and ping-pong tables, flat screen televisions and common areas.
According to Marques Johnson, residence life coordinator for the Livingston Apartments, the three seven-story buildings will house sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students.
This will nearly double the amount of students housed on Livingston campus, which was previously about 2,200, he said.
Thursday was the official move-in day for the apartments, but graduate students moved in on Aug. 1, Johnson said.
Move-in day was advertised as beginning at 9 a.m., but at 7:30 a.m., people were unloading their cars in front of the buildings, he said.
Seth Richards, 21, a fourth-year Rutgers student from San Antonio, Tx., said his new apartment has "everything somebody could ask for."
Richards is an RA in Building C, and a longtime Livingston campus resident. He is sharing a four bedroom apartment with three roommates.
"The culture on Livingston is a really good one," he said, showing off his new apartment to a small group of press on move-in day.
The apartment buildings - the first of their kind on Livingston campus, Johnson said - will also see new accommodations open throughout the school year. This is good news for the campus, which houses a large percentage of freshman students, many of which do not have cars available to drive off campus for food and entertainment.
The planned retail spaces include a 24-hour diner, a Qdoba restaurant, a Starbucks, a yogurt shop and a three-screen movie theater that will serve as classroom space during the day and screen first-run movies at night, Johnson said.
A courtyard, private study building, and a 24-hour computer lab are also available for student use.
Solar-panel topped parking lots have been newly constructed on both sides of the apartment complex, and residents need only to cross the street to the Livingston Student Center, or to a bus stop outside of Building A to catch Rutgers buses.
Richards said that he thought it "cool to just walk around" the buildings, which face together in an insular sort of way, he said.
At night, the windows are all lit up, and by day, he says he hopes to organize barbecues in the courtyard.
"They spoiled us," he said. "They really did think of a lot of stuff."