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Colonnades neighborhood completed for fall semester

Elon University’s three newest residence halls open this fall with hundreds of students scheduled to move into earth-friendly buildings designed to blend academic and extracurricular life. The debut of Colonnades C, D and E – now named Kivette Hall, William W. Staley Hall and William A. Harper Hall, respectively – represents the completion of The Colonnades neighborhood adjacent to the Koury Business Center.

The completion of three new Colonnades residence halls adds 280 new beds to the neighborhood immediately behind the Koury Business Center.

Residence Life leaders say the buildings were designed to appeal to upperclassmen with an interest in remaining on campus, but with more independent living than what can be offered in a traditional residence hall. Some of the new rooms contain washer and dryers, for instance, and all rooms and suites come with their own bathrooms.

The intentional design of common space on the three levels to each building allows for a multitude of potential uses: classroom space, meeting space for academic advising or meeting with Career Services administrators, or even for simply organizing hall programs and events.

University leaders said that blending intellectual and personal development in common spaces is beneficial to students. "Students have a tendency to silo their learning on campus," said Niki Turley, assistant dean of students. "In other words, there is often no connection between a student’s classroom experience, their experiences on the intramural fields, and their experiences in the residence halls.”

The Colonnades neighborhood is home to several learning communities, where groups of students residing in the same area interact academically and socially with each other and with faculty, and share the same academic majors, programs or interests. The new buildings this fall will house the ASHES (substance-free), math/science/engineering, Honors, health/wellness, sustainable living and "Better Together" multi-faith communities.

Work crews laid sod in early August in the green between the Koury Business Center and Harper Hall.

Another pertinent feature to the residence halls are their sustainable attributes, both in the process of their construction and in the functionality of the finished product.

Each building is about 33,500 square feet, and due in part to a geothermal system that serves as the primary source of heating and cooling, they boost overall energy efficiency by 28 percent. High-efficiency lighting and mechanical systems are also features of the residence halls, as are low-flow toilets, showerheads and other plumbing fixtures.

Workers utilized regional building materials, many of which contained recycled content, and 90 percent of construction waste was diverted from the landfill.

The university is applying for LEED certification through the U.S. Green Building Council. The Council awards the internationally recognized benchmark for design, construction and operation of high-performance, environmentally friendly buildings. The three new Colonnades residence halls would join Lindner Hall and Alumni Field House on the list of Elon University facilities that have been noted for their sustainable designs and operations.

The new residence halls were built using practices that Elon officials hope will lead to LEED certification through the U.S. Green Building Council.

Elon has also applied for LEED certification for five new Greek houses that open this fall.

"I have to say when I walked into the building for the first time I was shocked by the appearance and beauty of the space. I looked to my mom and said 'this can't be real life am I in college or at the Ritz Carlton?'" said Ivey Huey, a resident assistant in Harper Hall. "I've been an RA and resident in Danieley Center throughout my entire college experience so I thought a change might be nice.

"The features of our resident halls are incredible, and it amazes me that I have the opportunity to live in a dorm room with my own bathroom and my own laundry. I think especially for upperclassmen it's just what's needed, a room that allows both independence and community."

Eric Townsend,
8/25/2011 7:54 AM