Finalization on the design of the residence halls and commons areas of the new Academic Village is expected to be complete next month. Foundation work will begin in 6 to 8 weeks.
Construction manager Mike McCormick said the Academic Village, which will be built where Ellis Hall used to stand, is on track for it's opening in fall 2007.
The Academic Village will include three stand-alone buildings, two of which will be residence halls for engineering and honors-living learning communities. These suite-style rooms will have one bathroom each as opposed to other suite rooms on campus that have two rooms sharing one bathroom.
"Having a private bathroom will really give them a room that feels like home and will give students more space and privacy," said Tonie Miyamoto, communications director for Housing and Dining Services.
Also included in the Academic Village will be seminar space, labs and housing for live-in faculty. Miyamoto said the buildings' arrangement would provide more opportunity for faculty and graduate student assistance to be present in the living environment.
"I think it will really show where campus housing is going and will be a really great opportunity for the living learning community," Miyamoto said.
The food court-style dining in the village will replace all the south-side dining halls on campus except Braiden Hall. Miyamoto said they are still unsure what will be done with the space where the dining halls used to be.
The new dining area will accommodate 750 people, have a to-go facility and include outdoor seating. This form of dining will be more like the Corbett dining hall where a variety of food options are offered in one location.
"I think it will really be a place where students gather, " Miyamoto said.
Bri Bienemann, a freshman open option major, thinks the large dining facility will bring people together since they will eat in one place.
"(The Academic Village) has its pros and cons." Bienemann said. "You won't have to walk around a lot because everything will be compacted. But the con is that you might get annoyed of everyone coming there. It's going to be such a big attraction at first that people will just pile up in there."
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