New residence hall to house 600 upperclassmen

JYLIAN VIGAR | jvigar@butler.edu | News Reporter

The new residence hall will have suite-style rooms in pod formations.

The new residence hall will have suite-style rooms in pod formations.

 

 

 

August 2016 will bring 600 new beds to Butler University.

“Dated dorms don’t provide what students need today,” said Levester Johnson, vice president for student affairs. “It is time to start living into this promise of the experience that we can and should give our students. It has been great, and we want to make sure it’s even better.”

Butler University President James Danko spoke about the new building in his State of the University address last Friday.

“Ross and Schwitzer are not acceptable housing for the type of university we want to be,” Danko said.

A residence hall, projected to be completed in August 2016, will house sophomores and juniors. The hall will be built in what is now the Irwin Library parking lot. 

The proposed plan has six and eight person “pods” in the new residence hall. These pods will include bedrooms, a central living space, a kitchenette and a student-to-bathroom ratio of two-to-one.

Discussions about the new residence hall began in 2010.

Butler officials  talked to experts, formed focus groups and sent out a housing survey to current students.

More than 40 percent of students took the survey.

“When we are talking about the quality of student life, we make sure that we have significant feedback from the students,” Johnson said.

He said three things stood out from the survey: style, layout, and privacy. 

Butler sophomore Liam Creamer completed the housing survey.

Creamer said living in Ross Hall freshman year offered him a good experience, but a dorm with newer amenities would have been far more comfortable.

Each floor of the new residence hall will have a gathering place. There are also plans to have a small vendor on the ground floor, as well as a space for students to meet for group projects. 

Students also expressed their concerns for cost, safety and location. The Sunset Avenue location best accommodated the needs of both the students and the university, Johnson said.

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With the construction of the new residence hall, Ross and Schwitzer halls will be evaluated.

Butler’s master plan for housing, released in part in a press release from April 17, calls for approximately 1,200 to 1,500 student beds and related student amenity space from new constructions or renovations. The new residence hall will provide approximately 600 beds.

The Collegian reported in “Administration Addresses Housing Concerns” that Butler determined costs to be nearly $25 million per building to restore Ross and Schwitzer halls. During an informational housing session in April, Danko said it would be better to replace the buildings.

Butler is working in collaboration with American Campus Communities to construct the new residence hall. ACC came to campus last semester to answer student questions in April.

Danko called ACC “the best in the world at what they do” during the State of the University address.

 The estimated costs of the project were not available as of press time. 

This post has been edited. The first sentence stated, “Springtime will bring new beds.” The construction will begin this spring, but it will be completed in August 2016. 

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