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By MATT COBB / BubbleLife Media

Southern Methodist University got the green light this week to build a new residential student housing complex, dining facility and parking garage on campus.

The University Park City Council voted during its regular meeting on Tuesday to approve an "ordinance granting change of zoning" and a "detailed site plan" to allow SMU to build the new structures on the northwest side of the intersection of Airline Road and Dublin Street.

The new SMU structures will be located on a 7.59 acre tract of land on campus. The new student housing complex will have about 1,250 beds, and the new parking garage will have about 750 spaces.

All freshmen students at SMU are required to live on campus, but this new student housing complex is meant to attract more sophomores to live on campus too, according to the minutes from a UP Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

The university has a goal of raising its sophomore retention rate from 89.2 percent to 94 percent, and the new housing complex is expected to help achieve that goal by creating a "closer connection between students and faculty which will impact discipline and performance in a positive way," according to the minutes from the UP Planning and Zoning Commission's meeting.

In addition to the new buildings, SMU will also upgrade the landscaping in the area by planting oak trees and adding ornamental light poles.

Click here to watch the city council meeting. (The discussion about the new SMU structures begins at about the 10:30 mark.)

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