As summer draws to a close, college students have begun returning to the North Shore.
Students at Gordon College and Montserrat College of Art moved into dorms this weekend and begin classes Wednesday. Salem State University, Endicott College and North Shore Community College begin classes next week.
At Endicott and Salem State, students will return to new buildings on campus.
Endicott has unveiled a $19 million business and science center, with a 160-seat lecture hall, numerous science labs and a Center for Entrepreneurship and Computer Science.
Salem State’s new library, named for former state Sen. Fred Berry, opens this week. A newly renovated and expanded fitness facility at the O’Keefe Center will be ready in mid-October, said Karen Cady, Salem State spokeswoman.
”This is going to be an amazing fall,” Cady said. “The new library will so transform this campus (and) will be a focus of activity. ... (Both facilities) will generate some new energy on campus.”
For the third year in a row, Gordon College will welcome its largest-ever number of new students: 554. That’s 16 more students than last year and 27 more than 2011, said Rick Sweeney, Gordon’s vice president for marketing and strategic communications.
The Wenham college is able to accommodate the extra students with a few modifications to its existing residence halls, Sweeney said.
”We’ve been creative with what we have,” he said. “At some point down the road, we would hope to build a new residence hall. But that’s not even on the horizon yet.”
Student housing is also an issue at Salem State. The university is in the preliminary planning stage for a new residence hall with 400 beds. The goal is for the new dorm to open sometime in 2015, Cady said.
This fall, Salem State’s number of new students — roughly 2,000 — is about the same as last year. The college’s residence halls are “at capacity,” with a waiting list of students looking to live on campus, Cady said.