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|Students can't miss construction next to Griggs|
A construction project began in June to add 140 rooms for 280 students to the UMD residence halls. The 69,560 square foot building, expected to be completed by July 2011, will add a Griggs G building onto the complex off of the most recent addition of E-F. Although slowed by rains this summer, construction of the $14,000,000 project is still on time for its opening to residents in the Fall of 2011.
Special features include a fireplace and seating area along with a mailroom in the lobby; a walk out basement toward Vermilion Hall that allows access to the indoor laundry, study lounge and bike storage room. "The indoor bike storage room with the convenient same floor access is a nice amenity that should almost eliminate residents from having to carry their bikes through living areas and elevators to reach indoor secure storage space," said John Kessler, Project Management Division of Facilities Management.
Putting Building to Use
The building will also offer two small group study rooms and conference rooms with digital technology to cater to the needs of those coming to UMD. Additional study lounges on each of the seven floors will be constructed, each with an all-glass panel wall. The windows will offer views of Chester Bowl and Lake Superior and the upper floor lounges will have especially scenic views. Communal bathrooms will be located on each floor.
Lobbying for Change
For the first time, Griggs will have a main entrance and lobby similar to that of Lake Superior Hall. “It’s exciting because now residents in Griggs won't have to go to LSH lobby because they'll have their own,” said student Susie Lindemann. “I also think it will be great when there is a place where all Griggs residents can come together."
Building Sustainable Dorms
Although similar to E-F, the plans for G have an environmental factor all its own. Glass panels allowing a view of the surrounding area is in the design plans for all of the floors.
Like recent buildings, Griggs G will be entering the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification process to continue UMD’s sustainability efforts. To receive this certification the building will have energy efficient opening windows, substantial insulation, and it will display power usage at meters throughout the building. Knowledge about energy usage might create friendly competition between floors to see who can use the least amount of power.
Living on the Edge
Due to the number of incoming students, 118 freshmen students live in the hotel Edgewater Express because there is not enough room in on-campus housing.
|Construction will continue throughout the year|
Freshman Zach Lunderberg currently lives at the Edgewater Express. “Busing from the hotel to school is a big difference between someone living on campus and myself,“ Lunderberg said. “The buses only run about every half hour, so rather than just walking a couple minutes from my room to class, I have to adjust to the bus schedule which results in a lot less down time for me.”
Not only has UMD had to rent out a hotel, but almost every study room in Griggs is currently occupied as housing. Junior Angela Giancola said “I wish we would have had Griggs G for my freshmen year so that I didn’t have to start my college life in a study lounge.” Although students seem to be adjusting, UMD housing welcomes the change.
Accomodating Incoming Freshmen
“Of those first year students who are assigned to university apartments, about half prefer the apartments as their first choice. The other half of first year students assigned to apartments prefer to be in the residence halls.,” said John Weiske, UMD Housing departmental director.
"In order to accommodate the greater demand for residence hall style accommodations by first year students, UMD decided to build additional residence hall space instead of building additional apartment space,” Weiske said.
|Students studying outside of Stadium Apartments|
Phasing out Stadium Apartments
A cost study for major renovation of Stadium Apartments resulted in a price tag determined to be less cost effective than the cost of building a new residence hall. Even though Stadium has long been a first choice for many returning students, major renovation would require buildings be shut down during the construction period. For now Stadium Apartments are here to stay, but as the years pass the apartment's future is uncertain.
Creating an Environment for Success
The campus welcomes the addition of Griggs G so it can better accommodate the needs of first year students and enhance their university experience.
Written by Katherine McQuarter
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