DALLAS — There will be 500 new beds on the University of North Texas campus by summer 2018, the first of a two-phase residence hall project the university’s Board of Regents approved Friday.
Although there are no preliminary plans drafted, the project will be in two phases: 500 beds by 2018 for $44.8 million and another 500 beds at least a year later for $48.2 million. The estimated costs are based on the final calculations for the university’s newest dorm, Rawlins Hall, which opened last fall.
Administrators estimate construction on the second phase of the project will start in 2019 but could start earlier or later based on enrollment trends, said Bob Brown, vice president of finance and administration.
Demand for on-campus housing has increased faster than enrollment, he added. In fall 2014, 5,618 students lived on campus. In fall 2015, the 500-bed Rawlins Hall opened, and there were 6,143 students living on campus.
Between the demand for housing and positive feedback from residents of Rawlins Hall, planning now can begin to mirror the project, said James Maguire, vice chancellor of administrative services and chief architect for the system.
Administrators envision there will be a lot of living-learning communities, open study areas and double-occupancy rooms with suite-style bathrooms, like the university’s newest dormitory.
“It’s consistent with the view expressed in the campus master plan to increase residential opportunities on campus, and with the success of Rawlins Hall, we’re looking forward to continuing that,” Maguire said.
There isn’t a site picked for the project yet, but administrators said it most likely will be adjacent to other residential areas on campus.
Potential sites for the project include along Prairie Street, near Traditions Hall; at Chestnut Street and Avenue C near McConnell Hall; and along Maple Street between Avenue A and Avenue C, which the campus plan calls the Maple-Eagle Corridor.
Now that the project has board approval, pre-planning to find a site, build a design and figure out exact costs can begin.
Maguire said construction on phase one should begin next spring, and he targets the completion date for early summer 2018.
“The Rawlins Hall project had a lot of challenges, including nine weeks of rain,” he said. “We’re going to try to create a little more space in the schedule for this one."
JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.