(MCT) -- A developer is turning the 11,000-square-foot building at 905 Broadway Blvd. in Kilgore into a 28-room, private dormitory.
Anthony Saccoccio is working with City of Kilgore building officials and consulting with a California firm on designs to house up to 57 students at Kilgore College.
"We've been doing a lot of design-work on it," he said. "Right now we're not doing construction. I'm waiting 'til I have my final design. I'm trying to get everything to 100 percent.
The goal is to provide secure housing for international students and non-traditional students enrolled in specialty programs.
"My three groups that would greatly benefit by this would be one, internationals; two, intense-study programmers" like nursing students completing a two-year program in 18-months, he explained. The third group of ideal residents would be the short-term students of the Kilgore College Fire Academy -- Canadian firefighters, for example, need an affordable place to live during their training. Right now, "They're staying at local fire departments and stuff. They cannot afford to stay at a hotel" for weeks on end.
Dr. Mike Jenkins, Kilgore College's vice president of student development, said the dorm could become a viable housing option.
"Part of having the international student program is to bring that world-view to our campus, so we like having them on-campus, but we know we don't always meet the need of every student through our residential life program," Jenkins noted. "Being a private enterprise, obviously, he can do (it) however he wants and make it available. How we provide that information to international students would be something we would have to work out."
Saccoccio said he expects the dormitory will be ready by the fall semester.