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University of Cincinnati Opens Its Newest Residence Hall

The Campus Recreation Center is a national standout among trends to blend learning and living on college campuses. Get a first peek inside the housing section.

Date: 9/15/2005 12:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Dottie Stover

UC ingot  

Campus Recreation Center
Campus Recreation Center

The University of Cincinnati will welcome the first students to live in the Campus Recreation Center when the 224-bed, suite-style housing portion of the multi-purpose facility, which the University Architect and Construction Management Departments announced will open at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 16. They’ll be the first students to get a look inside the $112.9 million, 350,000 square-foot facility – the final phase of UC’s $250.2 million MainStreet project – that is the student life-centered core of the university’s Master Plan.

“MainStreet is the fulfillment of a vision to transform the quality of campus life and make our university a better place for students to learn, grow and play,” says Mitchel D. Livingston, UC vice president for Student Affairs and Services. “These new facilities will make this campus more attractive to prospective students and at the same time ensure more enrolled students are retained to graduation. I am especially proud of the active role students played in making this a reality.”

Housing section of the Campus Recreation Center
Housing section of the Campus Recreation Center

In addition to the residence hall section, the Campus Recreation Center also houses:

  • Six electronic classrooms, opening this fall
  • Market on Main, a 4,000 square-foot convenience store opening this fall that will eventually be open for business 24/7
  • CenterCourt (opening in winter), a 400-seat all-you-care-to-eat, point-of-service restaurant with a brick oven for specialty pizzas, fresh-baked breads and a Mongolian grill. In addition to the international-style and home-cooking features as well as fresh deli sandwiches, customers can pay extra to get a steak or lobster from the “Upper Cuts” taste station.
  • A magnificent recreation facility that will offer memberships to fitness fans from both the university community and from around the Tristate. Scheduled to open in January 2006, the Campus Recreation Center will hold eight racquetball courts, a 50-meter lap pool; leisure pool (with lazy river, water wall, bubble couch and vortex); whirlpool; more than 200 cardio and fitness machines; 10,000 pounds of weights; a cardio theater with eight plasma TVs; suspended four-lane walking/jogging track; six-court gymnasium; 40-foot climbing wall and bouldering wall; three multipurpose rooms; warm-up/stretching area and juice bar

The facility reflects the UC|21 Strategic Plan to define the new urban university by making the campus a 24-hour-a-day learning, living and social environment, and by building a healthier Cincinnati by opening the fitness facilities to community memberships.

Todd Duncan, director of UC’s Housing and Food Services, says the Campus Recreation Center is a spectacular example of trends on college campuses to build multi-use, multi-function facilities. “It encompasses separate amenities under one roof, connecting with breezeways and major pedestrian corridors on campus. UC is on the cutting edge nationally of incorporating the different functions of college life into campus living,” Duncan says.

“Theoretically, it’s possible for a student to never leave that complex,” says Steven Sayers, associate vice president of Campus Services. “They can eat there, live there, go to school there and work out there.”

The housing portion of the Campus Recreation Center reflects national trends to provide lower-density (suite-style) campus housing with private or semi-private bathrooms. Located on levels three through six of the building, the housing portion features two-person/two-bedroom suites.

The Campus Recreation Center is designed by the Santa Monica architectural firm, Morphosis, in partnership with Cincinnati’s KZF Incorporated.

In 2002, UC celebrated the first residence hall complex to be built on campus since 1971 – the opening of Turner and Schneider Halls – which also feature suite-style housing. Turner Hall was the first residence hall on UC’s campus to have a college classroom.

Fall classes begin at the University of Cincinnati on Sept. 21. Here’s a wrap-up of additional news and photo opportunities centering on campus housing:

MOVING IN – Residents of Dabney, Schneider, Siddall and Turner Halls will start moving in at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 15. Calhoun, the Campus Recreation Center housing section and Daniels Hall will open to residents at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 16. Peak times to see the crowds should take place between 9:30 a.m. and noon, with the out-of-towners arriving at around 6 p.m.

NO SMOKING – For the first time this fall, UC completely bans smoking in undergraduate housing. UC first started smoking restrictions in the residence halls, a policy stemming from student demand, in 2001, by banning smoking in Calhoun and Siddall Halls. By the 2004-05 academic year, out of UC’s seven residence halls, smoking was only permitted in Sawyer. Now that Sawyer Hall is shutting down for renovations this fall, all of UC’s residence halls are non-smoking facilities.

NEW AFFILIATED HOUSING OPENS – Just across from McMicken Hall on Clifton Avenue, Stratford Heights opens suite-style housing to 700 residents. In addition, University Park Apartments, the upper section of the development that encompasses the Calhoun Street Garage, will open to 749 residents. The housing portion is also located above space for 11 retails stores and restaurants.
(Find out more about building openings on and around campus)

CONFIDENCE-BUILDING ON THE 13TH FLOOR – Beginning this fall, UC Resident Education and Development will open a special learning center on the 13th floor of Calhoun Hall, a residence hall heavily populated by first-year students. The learning  center will provide tutoring and other academic support and will be open Monday-Thursday, 8-11 p.m. as well as offer hours on the weekends. Dawn Wilson, director of Resident Education and Development, says that although the center is located in Calhoun Hall, its services will be open to all UC students, including commuters.

SPECIAL FLOORS FOR SPECIAL INTERESTS – While all residence hall living is designed to promote student learning and academic success, UC’s numerous special interest floors in the residence halls allow students to connect their experiences both in and out of the classroom. These programs range from communities of students sharing the same major, including foreign language clusters for Spanish and French majors, to special, continual quiet floors that allow for intensive study. Click here for more details.

MOVE IN, BATTLE HUNGER – Students moving into the residence halls are invited to join the third-annual “Move In Against Hunger,” sponsored by UC’s Just Community initiative and Resident Education and Development. As students move in, special collection bins will be located in the residence hall lobbies for students to donate canned and dry goods to benefit hungry families in Cincinnati. The goods will be donated to the FreeStore Foodbank in Over-the-Rhine. Dawn Wilson, director of Resident Education and Development, says the 2004 “Move In Against Hunger” brought in 900 pounds of food.

HELPING HANDS REACH OUT TO RETURNING STUDENTS – As students move in to the residence halls on Sept. 15-16, hundreds of UC administrators, faculty and staff will be on hand to haul clothes and books, offer directions, chat with parents and hand out drinks of cold water. The volunteers, wearing special “Helping Hands” T-shirts, will celebrate the fifth year of a UC initiative to welcome students back to campus. The program also reflects the UC|21 goal of placing students at the center of the new urban research university.

HALL OPENING TEAM IS STANDING BY – UC student volunteers for the Hall Opening Team get to move in to their campus living quarters early and get a T-shirt in exchange for helping their peers move in to the residence halls on Sept. 15-16. These volunteers prepare to do some heavy lifting as they help returning students move their belongings into their rooms. Dawn Wilson says the Hall Opening Team is one of many volunteer or leadership opportunities that allow students to get involved in the community where they live. She adds that around 250 students have signed up to be a member of the Hall Opening Team.

PREPARING FOR THE MOVE – Parents and families play a vital role in preparing students for their move out of the house and onto campus. UC’s Resident Education and Development features a Web site with tips ranging from how to help students successfully live away from home to sending care packages to the residence halls. Click here to access the site

FRENZY 2005 FEATURES AN EVENING OF FUN – UC’s third-annual Sunday night celebration after the residence halls open, “Frenzy 2005,” will feature food, music, dancing and dance lessons, cornhole and board games. The party gets underway from 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, in the Great Hall. Nearly 900 people turned out on a Sunday night for “Frenzy 2004.”