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Shippensburg University to take over ownership of first new residence halls

19 November 2012 No Comment


SHIPPENSBURG — Shippensburg University will take over ownership of three new residence halls Nov. 20.

The buildings compose phase one of a three-phase, $200 million project to replace the university’s current residence halls, all built between 1959 and 1976. Of the three buildings completed, two stand along Adams Drive on the north side of campus and the other is situated to the south off Dauphin Drive in the heart of campus.

A view of the exterior of a new residence hall at Shippensburg University.

According to Pete Gigliotti, director of communications at SU, taking over ownership means the university is able to carry out its intentions for the buildings.

“It’s ownership in the sense that we now have the ability to occupy them,” he said.

Occupation remains just less than a month away. According to the current schedule, students who will return to SU after winter break will be able to move in to their new rooms Dec. 14-16, Gigliotti said. Until that time, each building will be examined to ensure everything is working properly.

Most of the first residents will migrate from Kieffer, Lackhove and McCune halls on the west side of campus, all of which will be demolished in the spring to make way for phase two of the project. Some students will come in from other areas too. There are 924 beds among the three new buildings.

“I think the numbers are pretty much tit for tat,” Gigliotti said.

The new buildings are the product of the university’s effort to satisfy the wants and needs of 21st century college students.

“What we have and what we will have, it’s kind of like night and day,” Gigliotti said, referring to the contrast between the old and new buildings.

A tour of the Dauphin Drive building last week revealed an atmosphere unlike what would be experienced in typical dorm life.

A view of a study lounge in one of Shippensburg University's new residence halls. Complete with a white board and four-person tables, this room is condusive for group work.

Common areas of the building are painted in warm, vibrant colors and feature an abundance of windows. SU President Bill Ruud, who was guiding the small tour, said the many windows were installed to allow students to make the best of daylight and use it instead of electric lighting when able. The residence hall project is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certified, meaning it implements environmentally friendly strategies.

Rooms come in a variety of styles, which students and parents may choose from based on their desired price point. There are both two-person and four-person styles, some of which require occupants to share amenities and others that promote individual living with single bedrooms and bathrooms but include a common living room space. Suite-style rooms include a partial kitchen.

Shippensburg University President shows a partial kitchen included in suite-style rooms.

Each floor of each building includes separate social and study lounges, and common laundry. Each ground floor includes a common kitchen, game room and other social and study spaces.

One of the completed buildings on the north side of campus includes a combination health and counseling center with a common waiting area. Ruud said the hope is that more students will use the counseling services since it will not be as obvious to others what a student is there for.

The new buildings have not been named yet. Ruud said during the tour that the task is up to the board of trustees.

The project is led by SU Student Services Inc., an independent nonprofit that serves the student community.

To finance the first phase, Campus Apartments — made up of architect CUBE 3 Studio, general contractor Fortune-Johnson Inc. and consulting engineer Greenman- Pedersen Inc. — worked with RBC Capital to obtain bond financing for about $70 million. Student housing fees will cover the cost in the end.

Amber South can be reached at asouth@publicopinionnews.com and 262-4771.

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