Drake University plans to transform the former Holiday Inn Express at Drake University1140 24th St., in a student dorm.
The new Campus Suites in Dogtown will have 45 single-occupancy rooms, primarily for third- and fourth-year undergraduates, said Ryan Arnold, director of community engagement. Students should be able to move in for the fall semester.
Drake plans to spend $250,000 on the renovation, mostly to add a gym, kitchen and other common areas — “those kinds of things that a hotel doesn’t provide but a Drake Residence provides for our students,” Arnold said.
He said no changes were planned for the university’s existing dormitories.
The hotel, next to the Drake Diner, had been in business since the 1980s, first as the Drake Inn. In 1996, when Drake purchased the building, it became the Holiday Inn Express. The operators chose not to renew their lease last year.
“We found it unfortunate that the Holiday Inn management group decided not to renew the lease, but we also see the need for us to turn it into a residence,” Arnold said.