University Unveils Plans for 3rd Residence Hall
Campus Housing Options Multiply to Accommodate Growing Student Population
For the third time in four years, UT Dallas is adding a freshman living-learning-style residence hall to accommodate its growing student population. Construction is expected to begin early next month.
The Phase III residence hall is expected to be completed by fall 2012. It is an exact replica of the Phase II building with a large courtyard and a designated parking lot.
By the Numbers: Campus Housing for Fall 2011
•More than 900 freshmen are expected to live on campus this year, up approximately 12 percent from fall 2010.
•Students living in residence halls: 800
•Students living in campus apartments: 2,543-2,600 plus*
•Total students living on campus: 3,343-3,400 plus*
* Double occupancy in two-bedroom apartment units could add about 100 students to the campus housing total.
Time-lapse video shows construction on UT Dallas’ second residence hall, which opens Aug. 16. Construction began last fall.
With demand for on-campus living at an all-time high, the University of Texas System Board of Regents recently approved plans for the new building.
It will be an exact replica of the University’s recently completed second hall, with 404 beds and approximately 151,000 square feet. It will be built off Rutford Avenue, adjacent to the two existing halls, and is planned for occupancy by fall 2012.
The housing boom began with the opening of UT Dallas’ first residence hall in 2009. The second hall was begun last fall, and its first residents will start moving in on Aug. 16.
Dr. Darrelene Rachavong, vice president for Student Affairs at UT Dallas, said that like the other buildings, the new facility will offer living-learning environments, which group together students with similar interests and majors. Enrollment growth has made the additional housing a must, she said.
“We’ve found that living-learning communities are valuable in terms of keeping students engaged and involved,” Rachavong said. “With the continued growth that we’re experiencing — we’re on track this fall to have one of our largest freshmen classes ever — we’re also mindful of the need to provide more housing to support the University’s Strategic Plan Imperative of adding 5,000 full-time equivalent students by 2017.”
As with the other halls, the new four-story building’s entry will feature a 1,800-square-foot, glass-enclosed rotunda.
The first floor will include a lounge and recreation area with a kitchen, laundry room, mailroom, study room, classroom, restrooms and offices. The second floor includes additional study areas and a media room that can function as a classroom if needed.
The building will be accessible by key card, as will living areas on each floor and the individual suites. Resident wings include study rooms, lounges, music practice rooms, instrument storage space, 128 multiple-person student suites, 16 single-person living quarters for Peer Advisors, and two apartments for director’s quarters.
Each individual student suite includes furnishings, a shared entry, living area, shower, toilet, vanity with three sinks and private, lockable sleeping rooms for each individual occupant with an exterior window. Living areas will have built-in counters in an alcove with phone, cable, data and convenience electrical outlets, and a location for students to place a small refrigerator.
Like the other halls, the exterior center of the building will have a large courtyard and outdoor amenities, and the building will have a designated parking lot. First-year students living in the facility will be required to have a University meal plan for use at the on-campus dining hall.
As with the previous housing projects, Matt Grief, assistant vice president for Student Affairs, will provide oversight on construction of the new building. Similar to last fall, he said current student housing is operating at 100 percent occupancy.
“Students who want to live in the residence halls again outnumber the beds available, so building a third hall makes sense for us,” Grief said. “We expect the growth to continue in the coming years, and we want to make sure that as we add students, we have a home away from home for them. We believe on-campus housing truly rounds out the college experience, and we’re excited that it’s something new students continue to expect from us.”
The estimated cost of the project is $31 million. The design is being managed by the engineering and architectural firm Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.