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Louisiana Tech Master Plan 2020: New Dorm Renovations

January 28, 2016

 

Photo courtesy of Louisiana Tech University.

Photo courtesy of Louisiana Tech University.

 

PAYTON POTTER

Staff Reporter | amh072@latech.edu

 

This spring, Louisiana Tech will break ground on a new era for the university–starting with new on-campus apartments.

 

As outlined in Tech’s campus master plan, a document that informs changes and improvements on campus, the university will begin the construction of 14 new on-campus apartments in the spring quarter.

 

The apartments will create 640 new beds on campus and eventually replace residential buildings currently slated for demolition.

 

The phase three student housing floor plans will feature suite-style apartments: first floor (above) and upper level floor (below) dorm suites.

The phase three student housing floor plans will feature suite-style apartments: first floor (above) and upper level floor (below) dorm suites.

Jim King, vice president for student advancement, said the demolition and building of on-campus apartments can prove to be a challenge.

 

“It’s a little bit of a logistical challenge,” King said. “We have to build some new before we can demolish the old, and then build in its footprint.”

 

According to the master plan, new construction will provide accommodations in the styles of two-bedroom and four-bedroom suite-style apartments and a number of eight-bed townhouses.

 

When paired with remodeled buildings such as Harper Hall, 880 beds of replacement student housing will be available to incoming freshmen in addition to existing dorm buildings.

 

The phase three student housing floor plans will feature suite-style apartments: first floor (above) and upper level floor (below) dorm suites.

The phase three student housing floor plans will feature suite-style apartments: first floor (above) and upper level floor (below) dorm suites.

The master plan reported the demolition or renovation of dorm buildings Mitchell, Cottingham, Pearce, Harper and Graham halls, in addition to newly-constructed buildings and future expansions, will provide sufficient accommodations for the ever-growing freshman class.

 

King said he hopes the expansion maintains the comfort students feel on Tech’s campus.

 

“Our strategic priority is growth,” King said. “We’re at 12,400 students. By the year 2020, we want to be at 15,000 students. That is not at the expense of what I hope you feel when you come to campus. It’s a comfortable campus. It’s not too big; it’s not too small.”

 

He said a study conducted by Tech showed students who live on campus perform better academically than commuting students.

 

Therefore, creating more space for freshmen to live on campus helps the university reach its goal of retaining 85 to 90 percent of each freshman class.

 

“Students who reside on campus outperform their commuting counterparts,” King said. “If we want freshmen to become sophomores, we need to be very intentional in our design of that experience.”

 

The apartment buildings are to be constructed around four outdoor common spaces providing students with a space for recreation, collaboration and leisure.

 

According to the master plan, “Proposed landscape areas integrate new and existing housing inventory around shared outdoor space supporting recreation, collaboration and leisure activities. This community-based structure will provide unique options to integrate freshmen into the campus culture, support healthy relationship development with peers, and allows housing staff to effectively engage with individual students.”

 

Next week part three of the series will discuss developmental plans for the new integrated engineering and science building.

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