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Odds and Ends about the New Residence Hall

Yesterday we talked about the New Residence Hall (henceforth to be called NRH until it gets an official name).

In the facility program for the new dorm, there was an interesting illustration on page 17 that was intended to show three possible sites for the new building:


(I've added the red labels so you'd understand the geography; GPT = Glades Park Towers, IRT = Indian River Towers, LRT = Living Room Theaters, as part of the Culture & Society building)

 As you have probably already worked out, site C was chosen for the new building. The desire was to keep all the underclassmen dorms clustered together on this south end of campus (the new Innovation Village apartments were intended for upperclassmen like graduate and medical students but ended up being filled with some underclassmen out of necessity)

Site A is the future site of a new FAU parking garage (according to the most recent Master Plan) but I wouldn't hold your breath on that just yet. Another reason why Site A may be slow to develop... anything, really... in the future is because it would disrupt the "line of sight" to the movie theater, something they tend to avoid if possible. But as the campus grows in the next 20-30 years, we're probably going to need that space whether they like it or not.

Not sure why Site B wasn't chosen except my own speculation that it was much easier to expand the parking by site C. If you checked the parking map layout from last week, or have been on campus recently, you'll notice that the fields just east of Lot 1 (near Parking Garage 2) are getting surface parking. The net result will be a gain in parking spaces, although there's been a mention of an additional 600+ beds for a Phase 2 of NRH, which I believe would most likely be one of those new lots (if, or when, it happens)

Now that we have that out of the way, let's focus on the "Consideration for future straightening of Indian River Street." Over the years FAU has put a ton of money into roads to help facilitate smoother traffic around campus - Lee Street (now North University Drive) became a smooth, four lane curve a couple years back, and if you think about the "University" roads as forming a ring around the campus core, Indian River Street is really the last of the "small" roads encircling campus. So it makes sense that FAU would eventually want to expand it to 4 lanes (two on each side) and smooth it out, especially as they bring more residential traffic to that area. I assume it would also be renamed "South University Drive" to get it in line with the other roads in the "ring."

Anyway, there's no date set for the future straightening of Indian River Street that I know of. A project like that could cost $10M and it's not really a priority right now.

MOVING UP IN THE WORLD: As mentioned last time, NRH will bring in 614 more residential students to campus, bringing the total to ~4,200 residential students on campus. FAU admins will talk about how we're making this a "traditional atmosphere" and a "university of first choice." And both are true. The reality is that we're fortifying our position in the Florida university market; students are attracted to campuses with a significant on-campus population because there's more opportunity to meet and hang out with people. But how will our 8 dorms (IRT, GPT, HPT, Algonquin, IVA, UVA, Black Professional Women's house, NRH) with their ~4,200 students compare to our competitors? Not counting off-campus apartments:

UF (founded 1853) has 24 residence halls for 9,200
FSU (founded 1851) has 17 residence halls for ~8,000.
No surprise there since they have the benefit of time on us (FAU was founded in 1961).

Rounding out the "big six":
UCF (6,400)
USF (6,500)
FIU (3,009)

So, the important thing right now is twofold: stay ahead of FIU and push towards 6,000-10,000 beds over the next 20 (?) years. Plans already on the table are Greek housing (more on that later) to be built north of the track and field complex (likely 300-600 beds there) and then the phase 2 of NRH. So you're talking another 900-1200 beds at some point in the (hopefully) near future, which would bring us up to 5,400.

NICE DIGS: The faculty-in-residence suite will actually be a 2000-sq foot 3 BR, 2 BA apartment off the 2nd floor lobby. Still, I hope those walls and ceilings are extra thick because constantly being surrounded by partying 17/18 year olds is, well,

Photo courtesy The Hollywood News.


GO OWLS!

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