Construction of new student housing beside Williams Village is well underway. The project is expected to be finished in the fall of 2011. (CU Independent/Alison Bergh)
As part of the Flagship 2030 strategic plan, CU-Boulder is working to increase the number of students living in campus housing that are involved in Residential Academic Programs by erecting more dorms, according to Flagship 2030’s website.
The project, titled Williams Village North, is currently destined to become a Residential College, essentially a multi-year Residential Academic Program, according to the website.
Upon expected completion in August 2011, Boulder will be one of the few public universities in the U.S. to offer a residential college experience, and the RAPs that the new building will house are designed to be very hands-on, according to the website.
The new housing is not only unique through its forward-thinking Residential College Program but also in its architectural design.
The buildings were designed with sustainability in mind and the goal is for the buildings to achieve the LEED Platinum sustainability certification, said Megan Rose, the communications specialist for planning, design and construction.
“One of the things that we always work towards [at CU Boulder] is building to be sustainable,” Rose said. “Tracking to be LEED Platinum, it will be the largest residence hall in the nation that will achieve this, at a total of 500 beds.”
To achieve the LEED Platinum certification the building must fulfill a set of requirements that will determine if the building is “green enough” to become certified, according to the LEED website.
The RAP that will be housed in Williams Village North is geared towards learning about sustainability, said Paula Bland, director of residence life at CU-Boulder.
“The RAP that has currently been approved to go in [Williams Village North] is through the engineering program, it is called Sustainability by Design and the building itself will become a teaching tool for the RAP,” Bland said. “We are very excited about it, it is a really fantastic program.”
Since the students will be living in sustainable housing it creates an added benefit for the RAP participants because they get hands-on learning experience from their living environment, Bland said.
Many of the students living in Will Vill have very little information about the new housing; however, they don’t seem to have a problem with the construction.
“It will probably make Will Vill more appealing, it will be nice because it will modernize it so that incoming students will have newer dorms,” said Nicole Rudat, 18, a freshman international affairs major. “They are probably trying to build a bigger community in Williams Village.”
As part of increasing the amount of student housing, there will also be an increase in the amount of on-campus housing available to upper-division students, Rose said .
“The goal is to have 20 percent of the housing be devoted to upper division students as a part of the Flagship 2030 program,” Rose said.
All of the money for the project will come from student fees and housing revenues due to the state budget construction freeze, according to the Facilities Management website.
The projected cost, according to the Facilities Management website, is $46.5 million; however, there are no targeted price increases for room and board to help fund this project since the money from it comes out of standard revenues.
“There will be no significant changes to the Buff Bus routes or the dining hall in order to accommodate more students,” Bland said. “We will add buses… but I don’t anticipate that the routes will change. The residents of Williams Village North will not have a new dining hall built for them, they will be eating in Darley Commons or on campus.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Chelsea Barrett at Chelsea.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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