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Campus Celebrates New Jefferson Residence Halls

Date: Feb. 5, 2001
Story by: Mary Bridget Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Graphic by: KZF, Inc.
Archive: General News, Campus News

The UC community celebrated a new look and new attitude for student housing Wednesday, Jan. 31 during an "indoor groundbreaking" for the new Jefferson Residence Halls.

The new halls, three in all, will be located at the intersection of Jefferson and University Avenues. The buildings range from five to seven stories and will house about 550 students when completed by the fall of 2002.

Architectural rendering

During the ceremony, UC President Joseph A. Steger said the low-rise buildings signify "new views of living on campus: no more high rises."

Mitchel Livingston, vice president of Student Affairs and Human Resources, explained that across the country in the late 1960s, universities commonly built high rises to meet pressing demands for housing at a time when student numbers were mushrooming. "The first 17 years of my career was spent managing residence hall programs. I inherited high-rises, and in retrospect, they were a big mistake. We need more livable, low-rise housing distributed around campus. We need to be concerned about the quality of experience for students on campus and not succumb to a 'commuter mentality.' It's a profound change in how we think of ourselves as a university."

Part of the change is in how the new dorms will be used. Academics and intellectual pursuits will be actively fostered in the form of seminars, special lectures, tutoring and even classes held within the halls.

In fact, a large classroom (for 40), a large conference room, study areas, and high-speed computer connections are integrated into the design, according to University Architect Ron Kull.

The interior design, as well an adjacent outdoor plaza and surrounding greenspace, are specifically designed to appeal to today's college students who have grown up in more spacious homes and within smaller families than their counterparts of years past.

According to Kull, the Jefferson Residence Halls, standing at the gateway to the Corryville Business District, will provide an influx of student customers for nearby businesses. UC is working with Corryville on a revitalization plan for the area.

The Jefferson complex is the first in a series of new housing planned at UC over the next three years. A 550-bed hall is planned for Lot 7 located between Calhoun Hall and Dennis Street on the south side of campus and a 220-bed facility will be built on top of the new student recreation center.

The architect for the Jefferson Residence Halls is KZF Inc. and the builder is Frank Messer & Sons Construction Co. Cost for the new complex is approximately $39 million.


 
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