New dorm at five percent, on schedule

Andy Dolan

New and returning students alike will notice Lawrence’s newest addition taking shape behind Ormsby as construction continues on the $15.3 million dorm.Scheduled for completion in September 2003, the new dorm was designed by VOA Associates of Chicago and is being constructed by the Oscar J. Boldt Construction Company. The building will accommodate 183 occupants in suite-style housing for the 2003-2004 academic year.

According to President Warch, construction is still on schedule as of September 18, 2002, and no complications have been encountered with the building.

Larry Lerner, the on-site Boldt project supervisor for the new dorm, confirmed that building is on schedule and that the building is currently at approximately five percent completion. Currently, the construction team is working on the stairwell tower and the foundation.

The 79,500 square foot structure will primarily feature 4-person suites consisting of two double bedrooms, each with a private bathroom, and a shared common room. Some amenities of the new building include a fitness area, a multi-purpose room, and air-conditioning.

The new dorm will be the only dorm on campus with air-conditioning, which promises to be alluring to many who wish to avoid the heat often associated with dorm living during the spring.

Brian Zaander, who will be returning this year as a junior, plans to live in the new dorm his senior year. “I think it’s great that this school finally built a modern dorm,” said Zaander. “Colman just isn’t up to my standards. I will be the first in line when housing selection comes.”

The Task Force on Residential Life initially recommended the construction of a new dorm several years ago after the Board of Trustees created the force to determine ways to improve residential life on campus.

The force found that construction of a new dorm would “reduce the current occupancy rate in campus housing from 95 percent to 90 percent, thereby reducing overcrowding, permitting more flexibility in the allocation of rooms, enhancing the attractiveness and diversity of housing options available to students, and creating the reserve capacity necessary to offset any temporary loss of beds stemming from future renovations of existing residence halls.”

In January 2002, the Board of Trustees gave approval for construction on the new dorm to begin. The groundbreaking took place May 2, 2002.