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Construction To Start This Month On New Residential Center

The new residential center will consist of three buildings with two-bedroom apartments.

Construction will start this month on a new residential center that will enable Southwestern to move toward its strategic goal of having 95 percent of its students live on campus.

The complex will be built adjacent to the existing Grogan and Betty Lord Residential Center between 8th Street and Southwestern Boulevard on the north side of campus.

Total cost of the project is estimated to be $5.5 million. Southwestern raised $1 million for the project from private donors and the remainder will be financed by revenue bonds. Donors to the project include the Grogan Lord Foundation of Georgetown, Jack Blanton of Houston, Frank and Louise Carvey of Fort Worth, and Red and Genevieve Caldwell of Amarillo.

The new residential center will consist of three buildings with two-bedroom apartments. Each student will have a private bedroom and bath, and each apartment will have its own kitchen. All the units will be fully furnished.

The project also will include a common area designed to support Residence and Student Life programs.

“We are very excited to be able to add this additional housing for Southwestern students,” said Mike Leese, associate vice president and dean of students. “It will clearly help us move toward more living/learning opportunities and theme housing for our students and to meet their requests for private bedrooms and baths.”

The project will house 64 students plus a residence life professional. It will be reserved for students who are either juniors or seniors. Leese said the new housing area will enable Southwestern to convert some of its other residence halls to theme housing. For example, he said that one of the buildings in the McCombs Residential Center might be reserved for a living/learning community for sophomores participating in Southwestern’s Paideia(R) Program.

The new complex was designed by Austin-based Group Two Architecture and will be built by Skyline Southwest Builders Inc., also of Austin. University officials hope to have the new units available for students in fall 2007.

With the new residential complex, 88 percent of Southwestern students will be able to live on campus. Currently, 82 percent of students live on campus. In conjunction with the new construction, the university’s Board of Trustees recently voted to require all first-year and second-year students to live on campus.