New Valparaiso University Residence Hall Employs New Concepts
February 17, 2014 — Chris Nolte, Lakeshore Public Radio —
Valparaiso University’s new residence hall for sophomores is about 50-percent complete, but is still on-track to be open to students in the fall. Chris Nolte talked to one of the construction company’s project managers about what he says will become a unique structure in several ways….
[Photo: new residence hall during construction in warmer, less snowy weather — courtesy Flickr]
Valparaiso University’s new residence hall for sophomores is about 50-percent complete, but is still on-track to be open to students in the fall. When completed, the new housing at LaPorte Avenue and University Drive will house up to 300 sophomores. It’ll be unique, in that it’ll be the campus’ first predominately “pre-fab,” suite-style residence hall.
The hall will include four, six and eight-bed units with one or two bathrooms, and each suite will have its own living room. Mortenson Construction project executive Andy Frank says it’s being built with 100-percent pre-cast concrete units, like a huge Lego set.
Mortenson is working with architect F-G-M in a “design-build” concept. Frank says this isn’t new to his firm, but it is not the usual way that universities plan for new residence halls. He foresees it being used on other residence hall projects at other Indiana public as well as private universities because of the major cost savings that it offers.
The building uses design elements from other Valparaiso University campus buildings but offers living arrangements that students and their parents like. It’s being built on land where the Health Center was once located.
Frank says Mortenson Construction is also working on a much larger residence hall at the University of Chicago, but it employs the same suite-style “pre-fab” concept.