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Input begins on project to modernize student housing

October 4, 2022
Closeup of Meliora medallion carving at the base of a campus flagpole.(University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)

The initial stage, which includes focus groups with students, will inform planning across campuses.

The University of Rochester has undertaken the initial stage of a project that will inform University leadership about options to modernize housing across properties on all campuses.

An evaluation phase began this summer, with consultants from the architecture firm CannonDesign and their consulting partner The Scion Group conducting physical assessments on site of all University-owned residential properties, including those on the River Campus, Eastman School of Music Campus, the South Campus, and at graduate housing locations such as Goler House, University Park, and Whipple Park.

“The input of the students is critical to the success of this project,” says Mike Chihoski, senior associate vice president for University Facilities and Services.

“The goal is to evaluate our current housing and help us develop a roadmap to improve our facilities going forward to be more competitive with our peers,” says Mike Chihoski, senior associate vice president for University Facilities and Services. “This could include renovations of existing housing, as well as the development of new housing, depending on the needs that are identified.”

Consultants from CannonDesign and Scion will interview focus groups of undergraduate and graduate students at Rush Rhees Library on Thursday, October 6. Each 50-minute session will include 10 to 15 students representing various affiliations, among them athletics, Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, Students’ Association government, graduate students, and international students.

“The input of the students is critical to the success of this project,” Chihoski says. “They are the ones who have firsthand knowledge of what is working well and what needs to be improved in our on-campus residential experience.”

Chihoski says the modernization plans could range from new bathroom facilities to critical infrastructure, such as air conditioning and structural repairs. “In addition, some units will receive aesthetic improvements while others will be renovated to allow for more efficient floor plans,” he says. “Some may be slated for complete replacement.”

The results of this study will inform the strategic planning efforts currently being undertaken by University leadership.

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