New dorms scheduled for fall 2007 completion

As soon as school ends May 12, groundbreaking will begin for the university’s new $42 million residence halls. Architects for the projects were chosen in January 2005, and plans and revisions have been made since then to fit exactly what the campus needs, said Harold Leeman, Jr., associate director of major projects.”The new residence halls will have a total of 625 rooms and two of the buildings are set to have loft space in the attic to accommodate 12 more rooms,” Leeman said.

Four new residence halls will be built where the 30-minute visitor parking and Frog Fountain are currently. These residence halls will be five stories high based on sketches currently on display at the Physical Plant. There will be four-bedroom floor plans, as well as two-bedroom floor plans available. Each student will have his or her own bedroom and will share a common bathroom and dinette area with his or her roommates, Leeman said.

Residence halls A and B, which are set closer to Colby Hall, will be completed in time for fall 2007, while residence halls C and D are not expected to be completed until spring 2008, Leeman said.

Who will live in these new residence halls has not been finalized.

“It will most likely be upperclassmen living in those residence halls,” said Robin Williamson, associate director of housing, “although we have not made anything official as of yet.”

Although construction will not begin until February 2007, planning for the $40 million Student Union has begun. The Student Union, which is expected to be completed between October and December 2008, will be three stories high and have a dining hall with a terrace, as well as an area similar to a sports bar with large TVs, Leeman said.

The second story will house the main dining hall and offices, and the third story will house the chancellor’s dining room and a conference room..

A stage for outdoor performances will be built in front of the Student Union, between the residence halls. There will also be a large clock tower attached to the Student Union that will be backlit, Leeman said.

Something new will be the Heritage Room, which will also be housed in the new Student Union and will contain TCU memorabilia, Leeman said.

The current Student Center will remain where it is and will be the new home to AddRan College of Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as some administrative offices, such as admissions. In addition, Frog Fountain will be moved closer to the current Student Center.

The driveway in front of the Student Center is expected to be paved with bricks and will only be open to vehicles on moving day.

“It will be a walking path for students, since there will be no parking that way, and the food trucks and mail trucks will not have to deliver to the old Student Center,” Leeman said.

Few administrators are open to discussing the changes in store for the campus because all these projects are still in the “programming phase” and certain ideas and concepts are likely to change by the time building is complete.