Montana State University selects the site for its new residence hall. The university initially looked at some 13 possible sites, ultimately narrowing it down to just three. After consideration, the school decided the best site to move forward with would be the north east corner of the intramural field, a couple of blocks west of the Brick Breeden Field House.
Not only was the intramural field site, site "F", the most popular but it was also considered the least invasive. The other sites were on parking lots that would've had to have been replaced.
In close proximity to the Miller Dining Hall, the ASMSU Outdoor Recreation Center and the Lambert Intramural Fields, University officials say the new residence hall will be convenient and help students thrive on campus.
"It will be directly behind me in the intramural field that is tied into the other buildings around here and the expansion of Miller Dining Hall," says MSU Auxiliary Services Director Tom Stump.
Stump showed us the location for the $35 million project. The four to six story, 400 bed residence hall will be paid entirely through existing revenue, primarily through student room and board.
Stump tells us the residence hall comes at a much needed time. He says they opened this year with overflow and still have students in apartments. The new hall will help alleviate overflow in family housing and free up 60-70 apartments and allow the college to free up some of their double-loaded rooms. But how long it will meet their needs depends on growth.
"If we continue to grow at the rate that we have been, which we don't anticipate, then we might have to look at it again in the next three to five years but, we're anticipating right now with growth that's kind of going to level off a little bit," explains Stump.
Stump says the new residence hall will create a quadrangle, encouraging students to spend more time in the area.
"It's going to be really nice. It's going to continue this whole group of residence halls around Miller Dining Hall and, hopefully, get a lot of new kids in there," says South Hedges RA Nick Tunell.
Tunell knows what that growth looks like firsthand. He says he's seen a huge influx of students in residence halls over the last couple of years and had to get creative finding space for all of them.
"I think the new residence hall's going to be a great addition to the campus and will free up a lot of space," Tunell says.
He tells us the dorm will also add to the existing residence hall community.
"South and Roski have always been a really close community. A lot of the kids hang out with each other, that kind of stuff. The staff members know each other so, I think adding another building into that will kind of increase the traffic between all the buildings and really build more of a community around this group of halls," explains Tunell.
While part of the intramural field will be set aside for the residence hall, Tunell tells us there will still be a ton of open space for students. In fact, he says having the intramural fields close by will make the hall a more desirable place to live.
Groundbreaking on the building is expected by early fall 2014, with the project completed and students occupying the residence hall by fall 2016.