University of Rochester

Rochester Review
September–October 2011
Vol. 74, No. 1

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A Campus on the MoveA new residence hall, a revamped dining hall, and several other projects mark a mini building boom for the River Campus.By Jennifer Roach
River Campus

Some students in the College will soon have a new place to call home.

Work is expected to begin in September on a new residence hall, the first such project on the River Campus in more than 40 years. Located just north of Anderson and Wilder Towers, the 52,000-square-foot building will cater primarily to sophomores, juniors, and seniors when it opens for the 2012–13 academic year.

The additional 148 beds—a combination of singles, doubles, and adjoining doubles—provided by the hall are needed to accommodate the University’s growing enrollment, says Laurel Contomanolis, director of residential life and housing services.

The five-story building also is an opportunity to build a stronger community among the new hall’s residents and the residents of Anderson and Wilder, Contomanolis says.

“We want to get students out of their rooms to interact with their peers, engage as a floor community, and participate in floor and building activities.”

The new hall is also part of a mini building boom taking place on the River Campus. In addition to the new dorm, work continues on Raymond F. LeChase Hall, the new home of the Warner School. The first major building to be constructed on the Wilson Quadrangle on the River Campus in 30 years, the four-story, 65,000-square-foot building is tentatively scheduled to open in January 2013.

Other projects under way include a major renovation of Danforth Dining Hall, including the creation of a new student market. That project opened in time for the start of the fall semester in August. And 2,400 square feet of space in Hutchison Hall has been updated to create a state-of-the-art undergraduate chemistry lab. The first-floor lab is designed to encourage collaboration among students and to foster small group discussion as students plan, carry out, and analyze experiments.

And in order to welcome students, alumni, faculty, friends, and visitors to campus, the University’s signs on the bridges that cross Elmwood Avenue are getting a facelift. Travelers going west will see a sign reading “University of Rochester River Campus” and travelers going east will see a sign reading “University of Rochester Medical Center.”

The groundbreaking for the new residence hall also marks the second time in the past five years that the College has expanded the housing options for students. In 2008, students moved into Riverview, a commercially developed apartment complex on the west side of the Genesee River that houses 400 University students in a leasing partnership with a private developer.

The new dormitory will be built on University property and is designed to meet several campus needs for space.

In addition to study rooms and lounges on each floor, the first floor will include communal spaces that can serve as a gathering spot for residents of the building and other students. Campus groups will be able to reserve a dance rehearsal space, music rehearsal space, or a conference room. Such spaces are in high demand around campus and will be helpful to have in the new building, Contomanolis says.

Outside the building, the plan is to re-landscape Founders Court, creating outdoor community space, says José Fernandez, executive director of campus planning, design, and construction management.

“What’s really cool about this building is that it’s going to give us a chance to redefine and revitalize the area and create a genuine quad.”

Jennifer Roach is editor of Currents, the University’s faculty-staff newspaper.