New residence hall expected in 2017

The University of Oregon housing department is currently planning a new residence hall expected to open in the fall of 2017.

The new hall is a response to the new university policy which requires freshman to live in residence halls on campus.

Construction of the new hall will begin in April, 2016 and continue until July, 2017 to coincide with the introduction of the new policy in fall of 2017.

Amanda Schmidt-MacKenzie, director of residence life and educational initiatives, said the hall will have the capacity to house roughly 531 students and will stand five stories tall. The residence hall will also offer a number of innovative new amenities, some the result of student suggestion.

Students gave feedback regarding what they would like to see included in the new hall. As the result of student recommendations, each floor will have its own social lounge and separate study lounge.

“That was really important feedback that students had given us in the planning process,” Schmidt-MacKenzie said. “A social lounge and a study lounge needed to be separate and defined spaces.”

Each floor will include rooms with individual bathrooms, 37 to 40 rooms per floor and washing machines on each floor. The first floor of the residence hall will also contain a theatre that can seat up to 100 people and nine smaller spaces designated for faculty offices. There will also be a communal kitchen and study spaces located on the first floor. The plans include a miscellaneous space designed for creativity.

“It’s sort of designed to be an innovation space for people to come up with creative ideas and then actually make them,” Schmidt-MacKenzie said.

David Opp-Beckman, capital projects manager, said housing will also strive to accommodate students with disabilities and give them access to almost all rooms in the residence hall.

“We try to practice universal access,” Opp-Beckman said.

Another feature of the residence hall is a ground floor faculty apartment as well as an RLC apartment. According to Schmidt-MacKenzie, this is because housing hopes to expand it’s number of academic residential communities.

They also hope to involve faculty living in the hall with the academic residential communities in order to create a better learning environment.

“That’s something which we’ve been able to do in this building, which is really gonna create some magical interactions between faculty and students,” said Michael Griffel, director of university housing.

The new residence hall is funded entirely by the University of Oregon. The total project is expected to cost $41 million. Direct construction of the hall is expected to cost $31 million.

Remodels of Bean, Hamilton and Walton halls have also been proposed. If these remodels are approved by the university administration and the Board of Trustees, Bean East will be the first hall to undergo renovation, following the construction of the new residence hall.

“From a purely functional standpoint, we need to build this new residence hall so that then we can start to renovate some of our older inventory,” Opp-Beckman said.

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Grace Sullivan

Grace Sullivan