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Rooms are Full at New UC Residence Hall

Date: Feb. 15, 2002
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos by Andrew Higley
Archive: General News

There's a place at UC where no one can come inside, but it's one of the hottest student spots on campus. The construction fences are still up around the first residence hall to go up since 1971, but students have already reserved their places in the 587-bed Jefferson Residence Hall Complex for its grand opening in September.
Jefferson Hall Complex construction site

Students hoping for a home at Jefferson joined a lottery, after 200 beds were reserved for University Honors Scholars and nearly 148 full-scholarship athletes. The 200 lottery winners were selected in January, says Jim Tucker, acting vice president of Administrative Services and Human Resources. The lottery was available to students currently living in the residence halls, with priority given to students who lived on campus the longest.

Tucker says 427 students applied for the Jefferson Lottery. He says those who were not selected were placed on a waiting list and offered other housing arrangements. Their lottery number can still be selected as openings become available in Jefferson.

The $39 million complex at University and Jefferson avenues will help resolve the housing crunch that's occurred on and off over the years, says Dale McGirr, vice president for Finance. McGirr noted that this past fall, the housing crunch had nearly 20 students living in a local hotel, after all permanent and temporary space (the floor lounges) in the residence halls was filled. The students were able to relocate on campus in December.

The Jefferson Hall Complex is just part of UC's $151 million plan to improve residence life over the next 15 years. The cracked, linoleum floors, fading paint and metal beds of old college days are truly history. The older residence halls are getting a facelift with better appliances, better lighting and better furniture. There's a new emphasis on the modern student experience that goes beyond the classroom. Better housing, better food, better service - all are aimed at increasing student retention and student success.

Architect rendering

The Jefferson Hall Complex is expected to be the diamond of them all. In fact, it may offer something the student didn't have at home: his or her own bedroom. The suites with four individual bedrooms, living room and bathroom are reserved for upperclassmen and make up one-third of the site with 167 beds. The other two-thirds of the complex consist of two double-bedroom suites with living room and a bathroom. Each suite also contains a microfridge: an appliance that combines a microwave oven, refrigerator and small freezer.

The single-bedroom suites have an added option: students can select one of the university's standard meal plans, or choose from one of three new independent meal plans that will be added next year. They offer between 25 to 45 meals per quarter in the dining facilities. Each independent meal plan also features Bearcat Campus Card dollars, ranging from $30-$100, included in the cost of each option.
Jefferson Hall Complex construction site

As part of a new plan to make the residence hall the focal point of the students' intellectual and social life on campus, Jefferson will also house a 40-person classroom to bring research and disciplinary programs, seminars and tutoring into the student residence.

An oversight group that includes representatives of the departments of Campus Services, Construction Management, Public Safety, Resident Education and Development, and Facilities Management, is now coordinating the preparation of the complex operations and the grand opening through project, marketing and promotions, and operations groups that were formed in January. Janice Johnson, director of Housing and Food Services, says those groups are responsible for selecting furniture and equipment that meet the budget, developing videos of model rooms to market to parents and students, and coordinating the work of various contractors and vendors.

Johnson adds the Jefferson Residence Hall Complex is running on time and on budget, with a public grand opening planned for fall quarter.

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