University of Miami housing complex moves forward
The University of Miami is steadily pushing ahead with its plans to replace the current student housing, built about 50 years ago, with accommodations that mirror the way young people learn today.
“Nothing impacts the quality of life for students who live on campus more than the quality of their on-campus housing,” the school’s housing website says. “As the University of Miami continues to rise as a top-tier research institution, so too do students’ expectations for a comfortable, secure and supportive living and learning environment.”
In late April, the final concrete slabs for the 25 interconnected buildings of Lakeside Village (the first of two new complexes) were completed and it was formally named, the website said. “The housing complex will be opening to its first residents in fall 2020 and will be primarily for sophomores, as well as juniors and seniors,” said Megan M. Ondrizek, the university’s executive director of communications and public relations.
The main structure is a seven-story, 540,000-square-foot building which will house 1,115 students on five residential floors. The lower floors will feature common indoor and outdoor spaces and offices for the university’s Division of Student Affairs. Apartments range from studio to four-bedroom; clustered around the main building are multi-use buildings, landscaped areas and a grand courtyard, all meant to serve as gathering spaces.
“In an effort to activate the space surrounding Lake Osceola, amenities include a large exhibition space for dynamic programming and other meeting spaces such as an auditorium, a classroom and multi-use pavilion,” a university release said earlier this year.
The second phase, Centennial Village, begins with the demolition of Stanford Residential College and Hecht Residential College, both built in the late 1960s, and the interior renovation of Eaton Residential College. Construction will be split into stages, with work projected to take place from 2020-2025, the university website said.
“Centennial Village will continue the successful first-year experience program with live-in faculty as well as professional and student staff who support and enhance the freshman experience,” a university release said. “In addition to double rooms and an increased offering of single rooms for a combined total of an estimated 2,100 students (inclusive of Eaton Residential College), the new residential colleges will feature private bathrooms, kitchenettes located in shared resident lounges as well as classrooms and learning hubs. Additionally, Centennial Village will be positioned to take advantage of the many outdoor and programmatic elements of the Coral Gables campus surrounding Lake Osceola.”
“This isn’t just housing; it’s an extension of the learning environment,” Jim Smart, UM’s executive director of Housing and Residential Life, said earlier this year.
“We’ve learned a lot over 50 years,” Mr. Smart said. “We used to think of dorms as places just to sleep and study, but now we know a lot of learning, both formal and informal, goes on there. It’s really an extension of the classroom.”