Nov 102011
Authors: Erin Udell

After 60 years at 905 West Laurel St., the Lory Apartments will be permanently closing their doors in May, making way for a state-of-the-art undergraduate housing project.

The new site, Academic Village North, will accommodate 600 students and allow for CSU to “build the type of living learning environment that today’s students want and need,” said Tonie Miyamoto, the director of communications and sustainability for Housing and Dining Services, in an email to the Collegian.

“With enrollment numbers increasing, we need new beds, and based on the success of the Academic Village, we plan to build a living environment that integrates academic and social experiences,” Miyamoto added.

According to Jim Dolak, the executive director of HDS, original plans included building the project where Newsom Hall currently stands but, citing enrollment numbers, said they couldn’t spare to lose the 400 beds Newsom provides.

After starting to talk internally about the plan in spring 2010, Dolak said the project just received approval from the CSU Board of Governors in October.

“The entire project will cost $57 million,” Dolak said. “But $9 million is for the Durrell Dining Center remodel, which we’re hoping to have completed in summer 2013.”

Both the dorm construction and dining hall renovation will be made possible through revenue bonds that will be paid back with room and board rates.

“It’s kind of like a mortgage on your house,” Dolak said.

By redesigning the Durrell Dining Center, which hasn’t been remodeled since it was built in 1968, Dolak said HDS hopes to accommodate the extra 600 students who would eat there.

In terms of parking needs, Dolak also said he and other housing officials have been looking into a temporary lot at the corner of Shields and Laurel streets, where the Conference Services building currently stands.

“We could put all the existing parking there with 200 spaces,” Dolak said, adding that he’s looked at plans that could leave the building either demolished or untouched.

“It’s yet to be determined.” Dolak said. “We’ll probably know by April or May.”

Current residents of the Lory Apartments were given notice of the deconstruction plans after the project’s final approval. Tenants, like veterinary medicine student Katherine Alley, are expected to move out by May 31, 2012.

“It’s sad,” Alley said, adding that she and her roommate plan to stay close to the university when they move. “These are the best apartments ever — they’re bigger and nice, and close to campus.”

News Editor Erin Udell can be reached at

*When will Lory Apartments be deconstructed? *

Summer 2012
How many students does the complex house now? 118 primarily graduate students in 72 apartments.

When will the AV North project be finished?

Durrell Center redesign will be complete in summer 2013 and dorm construction will finish in fall 2014.

What does the project include?

A 600-bed dorm for undergraduate students and a Durrell Center renovation similar to Ram’s Horn dining hall.

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