February 28, 2003
Residence plan includes demolition, construction
by Anne Krapfl
Architectural drawing of the Union Drive community center, looking northwest
from Friley Hall.|
Westgate Hall -- west of the student health center -- will be demolished,
and Storms Hall -- the northwest anchor of the "Towers" -- will close this
summer as part of the residence department's master plan.
But, in their place, construction will begin on the second suite-style
building south of State Gym. And remodeling work on Buchanan Hall, delayed a
year by a design that exceeded the budget, will commence. The unnamed suite
building and Buchanan are scheduled to be ready for fall 2004.
Also on the construction list for this summer is the completion in August of
the new community center on Union Drive and early work on a new community
center that will straddle the north campus apartment communities of
Schilletter Village and University Village. It will include a relocated
Pammel Grocery and should open sometime during spring semester 2004.
It's all part of a multi-million dollar, multi-year plan to replace aging
and traditional "dormitory" rooms with halls that offer students more of the
kinds of space they want, including private or semi-private bathrooms, floor
kitchens, lounges, study/class rooms, computer labs and fitness areas.
Residence director Randy Alexander said all the tearing down and building up
won't significantly change the number of beds in the residence system.
"The primary goal of the master plan is to replace older, less marketable
beds in our system with new options, not to enlarge the size of the system
dramatically," he said. "The question we always have to ask ourselves is how
many apartments or rooms can we build -- and pay for over 12 months -- that
basically are occupied for nine months?"
What also is changing is where students are concentrated. The Union Drive
halls (Friley, Helser, Eaton) and Richardson Court halls (essentially halls
with tree names) are focusing on freshman and sophomore students. The campus
fringe housing, including Buchanan Hall, the Towers and Frederiksen Court
apartments, target upper-division single students.
Beginning this fall, a new residence policy will reserve up to 75 percent of
the Union Drive and Richardson Court spots for incoming freshmen, with the
other 25-plus percent available for returning students. The policy
guarantees freshmen rooms where they want them -- close to central campus.
The goal, Alexander said, is to avoid two scenarios that have had a negative
effect on retaining residence hall freshmen at the university: a room
assignment at the Towers or a temporary assignment in a study lounge or den
until a room spot opens up.
Alexander said that freshmen and their parents view the distance from the
Towers to central campus as a significant problem. He said most students
assigned to Towers did not request to be there, although most end up
satisfied with the community.
A long-term plan to rejuvenate Friley Hall will begin later this year with a
study that will identify strategies and a timeline for phased improvements.
"Friley was built for men and at a time when barrack-like halls were
acceptable," Alexander said. "There is little community space -- study
rooms, kitchens, classrooms -- so that's one of the things this feasibility
study will help us with."
Other needs in Friley include more restrooms, central air conditioning
instead of window units and accessibility changes, he said.
"From this study will come a plan of action, we think probably for lots of
smaller projects," Alexander said.
Eaton Hall, the first suite-style building in the Union Drive neighborhood
and noted for generous amounts of community space, has been enormously
popular in its first year, Alexander said. Of 1,200 freshman housing
contracts received so far, 30 percent of the applicants requested a spot in
A north wing of Helser Hall was removed in the summer of 2001 to clear space
for the Union Drive community center. The remainder of Helser Hall is
scheduled to come down in the summer of 2007. Storms Hall and its Towers
partner, Knapp Hall, also will be demolished, during the summers of 2006 and
2008, respectively. Knapp Hall will close at the end of spring semester
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
Copyright © 1995-2003, Iowa State University. All rights reserved.