To that end, North Cross recently signed a residential contract with the newly formed dormitory program provider Wilson International LLC. Rooms will be available beginning this fall in the newly renovated historic Boxley Building on Jefferson Street in downtown Roanoke, a project being completed by Hist:Re Partners LLC of Roanoke. With room and board available for 24 full-time students, North Cross School will be able to house current—and attract new—boarding students in grades 9-12; international students with F-1 visas and regional high school students wishing to attend and graduate from North Cross School. Below is my best attempt to anticipate any questions you might have but please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any further questions.
Why does North Cross need a dorm? North Cross School offers an unmatched educational experience to our students in the Roanoke Valley and to those international students we accept into our rigorous program of study. In order to attract a wider range of students, both regional and international, the Board and I felt it necessary to develop a standardized residential program that will offer its regional and international boarders the same integrated experience outside the classroom as we do inside of it. Our partner, Wilson International LLC, has identified Roanoke as a prime candidate for a metropolitan boarding program and our school, with its exceptional academic reputation, was a natural fit.
Does North Cross School own the dorm? No. North Cross School is contracting with Wilson International LLC who in turn leases the space from the Boxley Building’s property managers. Simply put, we are contracted to lease enough dormitory rooms to house 24 students each year, about six students per grade. North Cross currently hosts 28 international students who stay with host families. We recognize some of them may want to continue this relationship and may do so, but our goal is to phase out the homestay program and replace it with a more universal, tightly monitored, and fully integrated residential experience for our students who wish to board.
What are the dorm rooms like? You can see a floor plan on our website of the newly planned rooms. Construction is in the final phases, but each apartment-style suite will house a common area with lounge seating and desks, a private bathroom, and a separate bedroom which will sleep 3 students. Additionally, the bottom floor will have a dining facility, private study rooms, and communal gathering spaces. Compared with dorms at other schools, these rooms will provide more spacious floor plans and an exciting urban location.
Will North Cross faculty be living there? Yes. We will have resident faculty who will share “dorm duty” and be on the premises to supervise and provide guidance to students 7 days per week.
How will students get to and from North Cross? North Cross has built into its boarding student tuition a transportation fee which will allow us to bus students back and forth from the North Cross campus. Students will spend their days at North Cross and be shuttled home at planned intervals to allow for extracurricular activities and changing schedules.
Is the dorm secure? Yes. Students and faculty have a separate, secure entrance to the Boxley Building which only they can access with key cards. Parents will agree at the time of enrollment what freedoms their students are allowed. Faculty and staff will be monitoring the common areas and the comings and goings of students. There is a curfew set so that students may not leave the premises after a set time in the evening.
What role does Wilson International LLC play in the residential life of students? Wilson International LLC is providing a robust residential life program to its students while they are in the Boxley Building. This includes, but is not limited to, meals, janitorial services, security, medical and mental health services, weekend activities coordinated with North Cross, and access to on-site TOEFL and SAT test prep services.
I am really excited about the possibilities associated with the dormitory project. I believe this is a positive step toward further growth of North Cross School.
Christian J. Proctor, PhD
Head of School