|Groundbreaking is today for student housing project|
The University of North Dakota is set to break ground at 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 13, near the construction site on University Avenue and Stanford Road, west of the Chester Fritz Auditorium. The public is invited.
The premier apartment-style student housing facility will be home to about 270 students. The $20 million building represents the next chapter in UND’s commitment to providing quality living and learning experiences for students, says Judy Sargent, UND director of residence services. It’s one of several campus construction projects and the largest one to date.
“It gives me great pleasure to see a housing facility of this quality being built at UND,” said Bob Gallager, vice president for finance and operations. “Students who live on campus feel more connected and are able better able to access resources.”
The new student apartment complex--slated to open August 2007--will include an “emporium,” or common area, a coffee bar with a drive-up, grab-and-go food facilities, and meeting rooms. The building addresses ongoing student calls for greater comfort, privacy, and cooking capabilities, and will incorporate elements of the traditional main campus gothic-style red brick architecture and more modern elements such as lots of natural lighting and stylish, comfortable furnishings, says Sargent.
“It’s really all about choice and flexibility,” says Sargent, a UND housing veteran who has supervised a number of changes in the number and type of living and dining services that the campus offers students. “We conducted extensive focus groups before undertaking this project, and what came out was that current students have lots of pride of place in the residence halls they live in. They’re generally positive about the housing experience here so this is a nice starting point. Things weren’t broken, but we can always do better.”
“The other thing that came out of the focus groups was the students wanted to be able to prepare snacks for themselves,” says Sargent. “They want to have the opportunity to cook something when they’re hungry, which led us to the apartment style of this building.”
Designed by JLG Architects of Grand Forks and SCB Architects, a Chicago firm that specializes in campus housing, the four-story, 108,657 square-foot replacement housing complex responds to the growing national campus trend for amenities and more personal space in student housing, Sargent says. The apartment-style residence will offer furnished living rooms, bedrooms, and a full kitchen with refrigerator, stove, microwave, and dishwasher. Each unit will house four students with either single or double occupancy bedrooms.
UND recognizes the benefits of designing an environmentally sound residential building and is laying the foundation for an earth-friendly, LEEDS® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building. UND has taken deliberate steps in the recycling of demolished material for proper site development, and UND will strive to achieve national energy efficiency standards and promote pedestrian use with the associated walkways. If achieved, this student housing building will be the first LEEDS® certified building in the state of North Dakota.