Despite planned construction work, the apartment buildings on Central Campus may be here to stay for a while.

In March, Duke announced that approximately 162 students living on Central Campus along Alexander Avenue would be relocated for the 2016-17 academic year as their buildings are torn down or used to house other students whose living spaces are being razed. Due to the large amount of planned housing construction—including a new dorm on East Campus and the renovations of Craven and Crowell Quadrangles—Central Campus will not be fully retired until the early 2020s, said Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs.

“We are in the middle of design considerations with a couple of different [architecture] firms helping us think through options for more housing construction on West Campus and options for more construction on Campus Drive,” Moneta said. “Nothing is yet developed, we just have very rudimentary massing analysis.”

For the next year, seven selective living group sections were moved to other areas—either on Central Campus or University-owned apartments on Swift Avenue. The work will affect residents living in the sororities Chi Omega and Zeta Tau Alpha, fraternities Kappa Alpha and Sigma Nu and SLGs The Cube, Multicultural Greek Council and Ubuntu. An updated map of locations for selective living groups can be found here.

Although these apartments are being vacated, they will not be immediately demolished, Moneta noted. Instead, it is more cost-effective to remove all Central Campus apartments at once.

Rick Johnson, associate vice president of student affairs for Housing, Dining and Residence Life, explained that the next step is to build a new 350-bed dormitory on West Campus near Keohane and Edens Quadrangles. Construction will begin in May 2017 after graduation and will be completed in Fall 2019, he said. According to a release announcing the dormitory, the new bedrooms will house students in singles clustered into four-bedroom, two-bathroom units.

In addition, the University will construct new housing on Campus Drive and Anderson Drive beginning Summer 2018 and expected to finish in Fall 2020, Johnson explained.

He noted that after construction is completed, no students will be housed on Central Campus and that the bus route will only run from East to West Campus.

“It’s a major investment and initiative for Duke,” he said. “It needs to be done, and the school’s committed to doing it. Students will be closer to West Campus and their classes.”

Moneta wrote that a number of options are under consideration for Central Campus once its demolition is complete—including private development, health system uses and land banking.

The cost of the renovations to existing dormitories and construction of the announced buildings “could exceed” $250 million, University officials noted in the release. Administrators are still working to determine how to pay for replacements buildings for Central Campus, Moneta said.

Central Campus was originally constructed in the mid-1970s as “garden-style apartments.” The portion of the campus with apartments occupies approximately 35 acres.

Editor’s Note: The Chronicle spoke to Moneta by phone and via email. Claire Ballentine contributed reporting.