TERRE HAUTE —
For the first time in more than 40 years, Indiana State University is building a new residence hall on campus.
On Thursday, the university staged a groundbreaking ceremony for the $21 million North Residence Hall, located south of Lincoln Quad and just north of Hulman Memorial Student Union, in an area on Spruce Street east of Fifth Street that is currently used for parking.
To continue to attract and retain quality students, “we must keep both our academic facilities and our residential facilities modern,” said Bob Baesler, a member of the ISU board of trustees and Terre Haute businessman.
The four-story, 352-bed complex will feature eight small-group housing units. While physically connected, each unit will have its own separate entrance and living space. Inside, residential spaces will range from double-occupancy rooms for underclassmen to single rooms for seniors.
When the new housing unit opens, eight ISU sororities currently housed in Lincoln Quadrangle will relocate to the new residence hall.
“We are so excited about this new building and what it will mean for the sororities at ISU,” said Sarah Riley, president of the ISU Panhellenic Council. It’s a place where sorority sisters will “live, learn, work together and have fun together.”
Each suite will have a lounge and a chapter room for each sorority.
The housing is designed for use by small groups, which in the future also could mean other student organizations or learning communities.
The idea behind the housing is to provide autonomy for each of the eight groups living there by providing them their own “house,” while still enabling them to interact with each other, according to Tara Singer, ISU assistant vice president for communications and marketing.
The North Residence Hall is in the heart of campus, close to the union, academic facilities, library, Student Recreation Center and some athletic facilities.
Amenities will include individual kitchens, storage spaces, social lounges and patios for each area. In addition, ISU plans to integrate sustainable features such as the use of regional materials with high recycled content, energy efficient mechanical systems and low-water-usage plumbing fixtures.
Also speaking during the program was Samier Ishtayeh, president of the Residence Hall Association. “The residence halls are indeed our homes, and the continuing renovations have not only made conditions better for our current students, but we know that they are helping attract new students to ISU as well,” he said.
University officials expect the residence hall to be completed by April 2014 and ready for use that summer. Funding will come from the issuance of long-term debt and reserves of the university’s housing and dining system.
CSO Architects of Indianapolis served as project designers. Primary contractors are Hannig Construction and Crown Electric of Terre Haute and Huber and Sons Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning of Greencastle.
The construction is part of a housing strategic master plan, a long-term plan to update campus housing. The new housing is necessary in part because of a future renovation of the Lincoln Quad complex.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, ISU President Dan Bradley gave special recognition to Rex Kendall, who had been ISU’s director of residential life before recently moving to the ISU Foundation.
Bradley said Kendall worked with architects, students and others to plan for the new residence hall. “He has championed the project because he knows it will provide better meeting and living spaces for our sororities,” Bradley said.
Sue Loughlin can be reached at (812) 231-4235 or firstname.lastname@example.org.