Reporting Bill Hudson
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Step inside the brick and glass building at the corner of 17th and University in Minneapolis and you might catch contractors putting on final touches.
Beginning Monday, University of Minnesota students will be moving into the first new residential hall on campus in over 10 years.
Each room will come with beds pre-lofted to save on precious space. And with some 71 bathrooms and showers in the building, there should be little waiting each morning where 600 students will be getting ready for class.
Laurie McLaughlin, director of residential life says the building was designed to reflect the needs and demands of today’s modern students.
“They really want places where they can connect, where they can socialize,” McLaughlin said.
The building also includes meeting space for Greek organizations, a student music practice room and a designated room for playing games.
“They have high expectations about the quality of housing,” she said. “We know students want safe living environments…places where they can really feel at home, and that they’re part of a community.”
Security doors will limit access to all floors. In the spacious community and study rooms, spectacular views of downtown and campus are complimentary.
On the main floor, a 325-seat dining facility can rival any restaurant and satisfy any taste. In fact, the Fresh Food Company dining facility is a restaurant that will be open to the public, including brunch and dinner on weekends.
Karen DeVet of Fresh Food Company says the restaurant will accommodate the diverse diets of students.
“Whether it’s gluten-free dining, vegetarian dining or other special dietary needs – we have a registered dietitian that helps me do all the menus,” DeVet said.
But it’s what you don’t see that sets this residential hall apart. With motion activated lighting, a green roof on the fourth floor and a rainwater and grey water collection system, it’s both pleasing to students and sensitive to the environment.
“We think it’s much more than just a great place to sleep and eat,” Mclaughlin said.