Set to open in fall 2023, the new Campus Village is being developed on the South end of campus, where new residence halls, a new dining facility and a campus safety office will be added.
Phase one of the project will be completed in 2023. This will add 1,808 beds with four different buildings.
One building will be pod-style, which is similar to the traditional style, with common hall bathrooms. The difference is that it will have closed-off spaces with a shower, toilet and sink in different rooms. One of the buildings will be the new home to the entrepreneurship and innovation living and learning community.
Being part of a living-learning community provides networking benefits in and out of a classroom learning experience with faculty leading it, according to April Barnes, the executive director of University Housing,.
"There's a lot of learning that can happen outside the classroom that supplements the inside the classroom learning. And it's those kinds of communities that do a really good job of that. And when you have a faculty member who's leading it, it becomes very intentional and very purposeful," Barnes said.
In addition to the residence halls, the buildings will be accompanied by a large dining facility, a Starbucks and a sundry store.
Its current location is set to be next to Bates and Bates West, but it is still to be determined what work will be done on these buildings. In this current phase of the project, only renovations are being planned for right now. Work on these buildings will occur in phase two of this project, which does not have a set start date.
“The long-range plans are that one day, that they will be replaced, but we're evaluating some renovations to try to extend the life of those buildings,” said Derek Gruner, university architect and assistant vice president of planning, design and construction.
The location of Campus Village is located down the hill from campus, which can sometimes be an inconvenient walk.
“There was a lot of emphasis placed on connecting Campus Village back to the main campus. Another part of Campus Village is to reconstruct a bridge over Wheat Street,” Gruner said. “So the bridge will take the students just across Wheat Street and they can continue walking up the hill."
Because of its location, some students have complaints about living there, feeling somewhat isolated from campus. This development hopes to add some life to the South end of campus.
"I think that, again, it really will revitalize that area just because there's going to be a lot more students," Barnes said.
The new village is being built on a six-acre parking lot. The development will include facilities to improve transportation and parking, which has been an issue for students in the past.
"Students don't have anywhere to park right next to where they live. So I have a parking pass for the athletics village, which is like two blocks up a hill, down a hill. And it's so inconvenient, so I stopped parking there. Waste of money," said Riley Beckett, a first-year living in Bates West.
Fortunately, for the future residents of the Bates dorms and Campus Village, they are building a "transportation hub."
“In addition to accommodating cars, it will have space for bikes, there'll be electric vehicle charging stations, it'll be a convenient place for Lyft and Uber pick-up,” Gruner said.
The budget for this project is an estimated $210 million, which will be paid overtime through housing fees to the residents of these buildings. Gruner said this is a relatively comparable budget to the costs of other dorms around campus.
Campus Village development will create a different environment than what students are used to on the South end of campus. The project is what those involved in the development consider to be an improvement.
“So I hope Campus Village is going to turn out to be a very positive thing for everybody in the neighborhood, the students. I want it to be a model for what large university housing developments can be,” Gruner said.
Phases two and three will come in the following years without set time frames. Renovations to Bates and Bates West will take place in two while three will involve apartment-style residential buildings.