As a result of the upcoming retirement of Jerde Hall, NSU Residence Life has finalized plans to build two new residence halls. There have been plans to build these two halls since October 2016, but rough designs were finalized in late last month. Currently, these dorms are referred to as 2E and 2W, one of which will be located where Lindberg currently stands. The other will be placed on the opposite side of this area, across from the Barnett Center and next to Kramer Hall, where the sand volleyball court and parking lot sit. Originally, the plan was simply to add one new residence hall, using $22 million in funds given by a generous donor who wanted to see Jerde replaced. However, during architect bid proposals, several indicated that a building large enough to provide the equivalent of 300-bed Jerde, built with the same square footage as Lindberg, would have to be 6-7 stories, dwarfing all other buildings on campus. Instead, it was suggested NSU add two smaller dorms that would provide the same qualifications and remain within the budget. This led to the idea of creating a residential quad — a centralized re-landscaped green with new amenities that five out of the seven residence halls (2E, 2W, Kramer, McArthur-Welsh, Steele) would open up to. Marty Sabolo, NSU Director of Residence Life, explained, “This will totally change the traffic flow on campus. It will bring a whole new life to its center, as there will be no more living on the eastern edge of campus.” 2E will have a unique set-up from any of the other dorms. All rooms will be double rooms situated in pods. Each gender-specific pod will consist of eight double rooms, with each pod sharing a bathroom and a living area. This will still give the standard dorm feel with the added amenities of a more private bathroom and living space than you would have in a normal dorm. Although students of any level can live in any hall, 2E was designed with freshmen in mind. Residence Life will partner with academic programs to provide learning communities in 2E. Additionally, 2E will house the new C-store and a new on-campus eating option, Papa John’s, which will be run by Aramark, where students can spend flex dollars.
2W will have a similar layout to the new Wolves Memorial Hall, consisting of a combination of suites and semi-suites. Suites will have a bathroom and living area, while semi-suites will have just a bathroom. A unique element of 2W — a game-cleaning room — was inspired by a request made by students. Designed for students who hunt and fish, this will be a room in which students can clean their game on-campus. “This is a great way to service our South Dakota students,” Sabolo said, highlighting how NSU caters to the unique interests of its students. Sabolo indicated that students were involved in the design of the new dorms via focus groups. In addition to the game-cleaning room suggestion, many students indicated that they wanted big windows, larger kitchens, and open places to lounge, like in the Student Center. With these ideas in mind, architects have planned to create large lounges with fireplaces and large windows to create a fresh, sunny feel. Additionally, kitchens will have open floor plans. Construction fences will be put up on April 3, indicating the beginning of the construction process. In May, Lindberg Hall will be torn down and construction on the new dorms will be in full-swing by June. It is expected that the quad area and the two new dorms will be completed in time for the Fall 2018 semester. Sabolo invites students to the dorm ground-breaking event on April 20, which will take place at the location of the new residential quad. Dinner will be served, and the NSU Residence Life staff will be hosting games and introducing students to the exciting new housing options. Students will also be able to see the architects’ conceptual drawings of the tentative designs for the new dorms.
Annika van Oosbree
Photos courtesy Marty Sabolo, NSU Director of Residence Life.