Living on campus has always been popular among Rose-Hulman students. That popularity now exceeds the space available in residence halls. In order to meet the demand and requests from students who want apartment-style residence hall living, Rose-Hulman has begun construction of a $14.5 million residence hall that will accommodate 240 students.
Scheduled for occupancy in the fall of 2004, the 75,000 square foot residential complex is being built west and slightly north of the upperclass residence halls. The complex will consist of two, three-story, brick buildings connected by a single story commons area. The commons will include a convenience store, Subway restaurant, coffee house and dining area. Each 850-square foot apartment will include two bedrooms, a kitchen, living area and a bath for use by four students. Each apartment will have its own heating and cooling system and control. Ten apartments will be located on each floor. The building exterior is designed in a more contemporary style to be complementary to the neighboring campus buildings.
The residence hall will usher in a new type of on-campus living environment, says Pete Gustafson, vice president for student affairs and dean of students. "A survey of students and visits to new residence halls at other campuses indicated that this is the type of living environment most appealing to students," he said. "The architect designing the buildings researched residence hall Construction nationally for the past three years and couldn't find a campus where a 'traditional' room design was used," Gustafson noted.
Juniors and seniors will occupy the new halls, according to Gustafson.
Additional parking is being provided west of the Sports and Recreation Center and west of the new buildings. Improved landscaping will create a courtyard between the new facilities and the upperclass residence halls.
As part of its planning process, the Rose-Hulman Board of Trustees last year approved an enrollment ceiling of 2,000 students. Last fall's official enrollment was a record 1,812 students. Excellent student retention and successful recruiting of freshmen continues to create slow, planned increases in enrollment.
"The additional housing couldn't have come at a better time. The new facilities will increase our on-campus housing capacity, not including students living in fraternities, to 1,100 students," Gustafson stated.
The expansion will provide students with additional living and meal options. Floors will include study lounges, and a resident assistant staff similar to other on-campus housing units.