Aug 222005
Authors: Kathryn Dailey

Ellis Hall is now officially resting in peace, but from the rubble a new academic village will be built.

The new academic village will constitute of two residence halls and dining commons, said Mary Ellen Sinnwell , director of Housing. It is scheduled to open in the fall of 2007.

These halls will contain in them classroom space, lab space, study rooms and practice rooms, and faculty and staff offices. She said is it just an extension of the services that are currently offered for students.

"(The Academic Village) is bringing in and out of classroom experiences under one roof," Sinnwell said .

Tonie Miyamoto, communications coordinator for housing and dining services, , said that the new academic village, or living-learning community, is just part of a master construction plan that started with Summit residence hall.

"(The new academic village) will have more of a feel of a village than a residence hall," Miyamoto said.

She also said that it will be a sustainable living environment. The new residence halls will include a living roof design, which means that there will be plants on top of the roofs to collect rainwater. Low flow faucets, light shelves and a wind power art piece in the center plaza will add to the idea of a green village.

Recycled materials from Ellis Hall as well as bamboo and cork are being used in the construction of the new residence halls, Miyamoto said.

Contributions and ideas were taken from students in the construction management program, engineering program and other various majors.

"(The conception) involves students, which is really the most exciting thing about it," Miyamoto said.

The two new residence halls will house engineering students and honors students. Newsom will be the next residence hall to be torn down in the preparation for the rising of the academic village.

Bob Keller, director of the university honors program , said he is excited for the project because it will tailor the space to fit the needs of the program. He also said that the newer residence halls will make the university more appealing and more competitive.

"For (those involved in the honors program), we're real interested in making the move before Newsome is torn down and we're evicted," Keller said.

"It might be helpful, but I kind of think you need to separate where you live from where you're living and where you're working," said Katie Provorse, a freshman restaurant and resort management major .

Seth Walter, a freshman political science major, agrees that it would convenient, but shares Provorse's sentiment.

"It kind of ruins the experience of college. You're supposed to learn how to separate living from learning," Walter said.

People like Keller and Sinnwell said that it will be a great way to further connect with students and provide them the services that they need.

"It will be a different way of fostering community," Keller said.

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