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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Building from the ground up

Gordon Bates / Arizona Summer Wildcat
Having begun its construction in early 2009, the Tyndall Hall student housing complex is taking clear form and is making way towards its scheduled completion time for the Fall 2011 semester. Tyndall Hall will join Yuma as an honors dorm and will have room for over 700 students.
Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Summer Wildcat Having begun its construction in early 2009, the Tyndall Hall student housing complex is taking clear form and is making way towards its scheduled completion time for the Fall 2011 semester. Tyndall Hall will join Yuma as an honors dorm and will have room for over 700 students.

When students return to classes in the fall, they can expect to see progress on the Sixth Street residence halls and reopened driving lanes.

Currently, Sixth Street and Euclid Avenue are blocked but will be reopened in time for the fall semester.

“”They will be pulling the fences in and be getting back into their own areas by the 13th,”” said Melissa Dryden, senior program coordinator for planning, design and construction.

By the fall 2011 semester, the Sixth Street residence halls will open.

The Tyndall Avenue and Sixth Street residence hall will be a new dorm for honors students. Yuma will also continue to be an honors dorm, but Yavapai and Posada San Pedro will no longer be honors dorms.

Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and University Housing Jim Van Arsdel has seen residence halls La Paz, Pima the Highland Halls, and graduate student apartments La Aldea, come to fruition.

“”It’s always a really fun process to do,”” Van Arsdel said.

The new halls will be a collection of several buildings in order to create a more intimate setting for students and a less jarring presence for the local landscape.

“”The idea is the buildings kind of step up from Sixth (Street),”” Van Arsdel said.

The new residence halls will also use courtyards and bridges between buildings.

The Tyndall residence hall will have glass study rooms and a “”study bridge”” with glass windows that will allow students to walk from building to building, study and look outside.

Designed with sustainability in mind, the buildings will have hot water panels on the roof and outlets that turn off when no one is in the room.

“”The basic design of the building has kind of been an amenity (in and) of itself,”” Van Arsdel said.

The new residence halls are designed to draw students out of their rooms and invite them into a social setting.

“”With freshmen, it’s all about building relationships and communities,”” Van Arsdel said. “”We all respond to architecture in pretty predictable ways.””

The architects designing the new residence halls are based out of Denver, Colo., and have worked on the Highland Halls, the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering building and the Environment and Natural Resources building.

A unique feature the architects devised for the Tyndall building is its entrance.

The Tyndall entrance will have glass etched with what appears to be trees, but on closer look,  the trees are actually made up of poetry.

The Tyndall residence hall is four months ahead of the other site and while many of its buildings look unfinished, a blue building and a green building have emerged.

“”Some of the more contemporary buildings in Europe have a similar look,”” Van Arsdel said.

Construction is expected to be finished in the spring to allow time for inspection and preparation for occupation in the fall.

When the new residence halls open, Coronado will be closing for a year to replace plumbing and mechanical systems.

Van Arsdel said Residence Life won’t lose capacity with the closure of Coronado but will actually net about 360 more spaces than it currently has. When Coronado reopens, Van Arsdel said 800 more spaces will be added.

Despite the gain in housing, the UA will not gain any new parking.

Van Arsdel does not anticipate parking being a problem and believes the UA is able to meet students’ needs with its current parking.

He said there were quite a few unused spaces in the Tyndall Avenue parking garage last year, and that between the Cherry Street garage and the Sixth Street garage, there should be enough space for the new residence halls.

Dryden said students could look forward to quieter construction soon.

“”Since we are starting to complete the exterior of the building, the noise shouldn’t be as much of a factor during this phase of the project,”” Dryden said.

When construction first began, Van Arsdel tested out the noise level in a Coronado room and said when the window was closed he couldn’t hear a thing.

“”I’m sure there are times that some students must have heard something, but it really has been a very manageable process,”” Van Arsdel said.

The crane at the Tyndall site will also be coming down by the end of August or early September.

“”I think it’s going to be a really cool building,”” he said.

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