Double vision dorms
With a combined estimated project cost of $107.8 million, the University of Houston will invest more in its campus life by building two new residential halls and a new dining hall toward the west side of campus.
Both Cougar Village II and Cougar Place II will expand student housing options by adding about 2,000 beds to the system when they open in the fall 2013 semester, said Executive Director of Residential Life and Housing Don Yackley.
According to Yackley, both will be modernly stylized to fulfill the demand for this type of facility, indicated by the success of Cougar Village.
“These projects have been developed with student engagement and success as lead themes,” Yackley said.
“Both facilities offer great community spaces, such as lounges, study rooms, fitness rooms and computer labs.”
Cougar Village II, located parallel to Cougar Village, is estimated to cost $50 million and will boast roughly 1,144 beds. It will be closely modeled after Cougar Village with double rooms sharing a bathroom area. The main distinction is the transition to a compartmentalized bathroom area.
“This means there is a room for the shower and a room for the toilet so that three or four people can use the bathroom at the same time while maintaining privacy,” Yackley said.
At an estimated cost of $48.5 million, Cougar Place II will resemble an apartment-style living area where Cougar Place was originally located and will be targeted toward sophomores and upperclassmen. It will be four stories tall and consist of two buildings connected by walkways with around 800 beds, according to project manager Katherine Miller.
“In most cases, there will be four single rooms that share a bathroom, kitchenette and living space,” Yackley said.
“The bathrooms will be compartmentalized (as well).”
The new residential halls will be open for sign up in the spring 2013 semester, and residential assistants will also be hired at that time.
The estimated $9.3 million west dining hall will be located at the corner of Wheeler and Cullen and will open in the fall 2012 semester. Its entrance will open north toward the campus and it will be surrounded by a park setting, as said in the proposal plan for the building.
As a replacement for the current Oberholtzer dining hall, the west dining hall will be operated by Real Foods on Campus and will feature seven stations: pizza, grille, salad, specialty, entrée, dessert and bakery, according to the plant operations website.
According to the proposal plan, it will also feature a more modern look with large expanses of glass opening to the park area and the Fiesta Dancers sculpture by Luis Jimenez situated on the southwest-northeast sidewalk.
A competition was held to rename the dining hall, but the voting process was delayed indefinitely on March 29 according to the competition’s Facebook page.