University of Rochester

University of Rochester Begins Construction on Residence Hall

August 31, 2011

First River Campus Dorm in 42 Years Will Create New Quad Design

The University of Rochester will construct a new five-story residence hall overlooking the Genesee River on Wilson Boulevard. Construction will begin in September.

The 52,000-square-foot structure will complement Anderson and Wilder Towers and the Sage Arts Center, which are clustered together in Founders Court. The established buildings and new residence hall will encircle a newly landscaped quadrangle. The new building, which has not been named, is expected to open in fall 2012 to about 150 students.

"The College is truly on the move," said University President Joel Seligman. "Its student body continues to grow in both quality and size. This new residence hall, the first on the River Campus in more than 40 years, is a symbol of that dynamic growth.

"The new dorm joins the two exciting developments on the opposite bank, Riverview Apartments and the new student residence planned for Brooks Landing in 2013. All three will provide our students with terrific residences in which to live and study," he said.

A recent survey indicated that more than 80 percent of students want to live on campus during their four years of college, said Ronald Paprocki, senior vice president for administration and finance. "That strong interest by a significant number of students supports our historic commitment to a residential college experience and the academic and social activities it offers students," he pointed out.

The new residence hall is estimated to cost $17 million. It will open in September 2012.

"Our growing undergraduate enrollment presents the opportunity to redesign residential areas to make function match student needs," said Richard Feldman, dean of the College. Upper floors offer added study rooms and lounges while versatile common areas on the first floor can be used for meetings, event planning, and music and dance rehearsal spaces.

Laurel Contomanolis, director of residential life and housing services, said the new building will cater primarily to sophomores, juniors, and seniors with a combination of singles, doubles, and adjoining doubles. It also will offer such extras as indoor bike parking. An outdoor fireplace will be incorporated into the quad design.

The building is targeted to meet LEED gold certification standards—a first for the River Campus—to reduce negative environmental impacts and improve energy performance, among many goals. There will be a rain garden to filter and clean water before it heads into the storm system, for instance, and a high recycling content for construction materials.

Long term, there are plans to reorient the entrances to the tower residences and position them to flow into the quadrangle.

The area known as Founders Court honors three significant figures in University history: Martin B. Anderson, the first president; and John N. Wilder and William N. Sage, leading trustees at the University's founding. The courtyard space was named and dedicated in October 1966.

In 2008, the University leased and opened the first residence hall to be situated off-campus, the Riverview Apartments on South Plymouth Avenue, for 400 students.

The University is working with Staybridge Suites Hotel developer Ron Christenson of Minneapolis to include 144 student beds in another Brooks Landing location near the hotel. Those rooms are planned for part of the first and the full second floors of the building to be completed in fall 2013. The University will be the anchor tenant.