Plan Taking Shape for New Student Housing

Plans for a new residence hall at St. Lawrence University are taking shape as the University looks to break ground as early as April and complete construction by fall 2014.

After weeks of discussions, architectural studies and consideration of construction needs, the University has decided to build the 150-bed residence hall on the parking lot in front of the Noble Center, closer to the south end of the lot so the entrance to the Gulick Theatre will remain visible from the Quad. The Board of Trustees reviewed the plans at its winter meeting.

While details of the design are still being refined, the planned residence hall will be a mixed, 3- and 4-story building with meeting space in a glass bridge commons area that will connect the two sections of the building. The residence hall, expected to be about 45,000 square feet, could include a café and may be heated and cooled by geothermal energy, depending on a feasibility study.

Other planned features:

  • 81 total rooms (18 singles; 52 doubles; 11 triples)
  • More than 30 rooms with a view of the Quad
  • Computer lab
  • 10 informal common spaces (not including the bridge commons)
  • Outdoor sculpture space
  • Portal with a view of the Quad from the Noble Center
  • Water-saving fixtures; high-efficiency heating and cooling systems; heat-recovery system; and more sustainability features to be announced soon

As announced in December, the Board of Trustees approved placing the residence hall on a site near the Noble Center and Quad based on the University’s Facilities Master Plan and following the recommendation of a 17-member committee that included faculty, staff, students and alumni. The site plan followed further discussions and studies.

The project architect, McKinney MacDonald Architects (formerly Sacco & McKinney), of Latham, N.Y., will continue to work closely with Residence Life, Facilities Operations and others on campus to refine the design of the building, including ensuring that the building fits the character of campus and that it maintains or enhances the views to other, significant buildings surrounding the Quad.

The location also provides an opportunity to create a landscaped walkway between the Noble building and the new residence hall that could provide an open-air space for gathering and for showcasing artwork.

The general contractor, Northland Associates, of Liverpool, N.Y., has worked on a number of campus projects over the years, including the Johnson Hall of Science, the Sullivan Student Center and the Peterson-Kermani Performance Hall.

Private gifts are being used to fund the project. To date, the University has raised more than $4.3 million to pay for construction of the residence hall, which is expected to cost about $12 million. The Class of 2013 kicked off the focused fundraising effort by pledging its senior class gift to support the project.

View more images, including draft floor plans.