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Fourth residence hall to be added to HLLC

Published: Thursday, March 1, 2012

Updated: Thursday, March 1, 2012 17:03


Leah McDaniel/Herald

Under the collaboration of ASU Residence Life, the Honors College and Student Affairs, action is being taken to add a fourth residence hall to the Honors Living-Learning Community (HLLC).

Since the 2009 completion of the three HLLC buildings, there has already been discussion among Honors, Residence Life and Student Affairs about the eventual expansion of Honors housing. Currently, there are about 70 students housed per building in the HLLC in double rooms for freshmen and single rooms for upperclassmen.

Rebecca Oliver, director of the Honors College said the demand for Honors housing is very high, especially for incoming freshmen.

Craig Johnson, assistant vice chancellor for Student Affairs, said the estimated cost of this project is $6 million.  Johnson added that the ASU System sold 30-year bonds to pay for the project.

The estimated completion date for the fourth Honors building is set for the fall of 2013.  Johnson said they are currently working with architects, Brackett and Krennerich, to finalize the design of the building.  He added that they anticipate late spring for the groundwork to begin.

The fourth HLLC building will be located along Driver Street behind the nursing building and between Banks Street and Danner Avenue.  It will include a total of 102 beds divided into 60 freshman rooms and 42 upper class rooms.  Oliver said the layout and ratio of freshman rooms to upper class rooms is very similar to that of the current HLLC buildings.

The new building will include a few more amenities than the current buildings. There will be study rooms and multi-purpose common areas on each of the three floors, something the current buildings do not have.  The new building will also include a common kitchen along with an elevator and a center staircase.

Another change coming to the HLLC is that students from any Honors residence hall will have access to all four HLLC buildings.  Students will be able to swipe into any of the buildings during set hours of the day.

Since 2009, the Honors College has seen a 41 percent cumulative increase in total enrollment and a 27 percent increase in freshmen enrollment.  In fall 2011 there were 769 total students enrolled in the Honors College.

Oliver said it is the sense of belonging within Honors that makes living in the HLLC so rewarding.  She added that its "not necessarily where, but who" that is important when students decide on housing arrangements.

In fall 2011, the Honors director said there were more than 75 freshmen on the wait list for Honors housing.  She said Honors was able to work with students on the wait list in an informal process to help them find other honors freshmen to room with.

Oliver said the demand for honors housing will probably never be fully met, but that they will continue to do whatever possible to make arrangements for Honors freshmen to live together.

For the fall of 2012, there will be about 40 freshmen Honors rooms provided in Kays Hall: one male wing and one female wing, complete with Honors Resident Assistants.  Oliver said she is expecting around 250 freshmen in the Honors program for next fall.

The Honors College director added that it is especially important for Honors freshmen to be surrounded by other Honors students who are "like-minded."  She added that most Honors students come to ASU wanting the "full college experience" in and out of the classroom.

"They want college to be everything they hoped it to be," Oliver said.

Oliver said the growth of ASU is apparent in the Honors College.  She added that this spring there are more seniors graduating with a distinction in honors than ever before.


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