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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


New dorms solar powered

Lisa Beth Earle/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

Dorm Construction on the corner of 1st and 6th
Lisa Beth Earle
Lisa Beth Earle/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Dorm Construction on the corner of 1st and 6th

Construction on the new dorms is both on schedule and sustainable, officials say.

The new halls will be located on Highland and Sixth Street, and Tyndall Avenue and Sixth Street.

Both halls are built to be sustainable with the hope of winning a silver LEED certification. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a designation given to buildings designed to be sustainable.

Solar panels already installed on the roof will provide 60 percent of the hot water needs.

“”They’re doing this because it will use less energy and it’s the responsible approach to take and we will be using less steam which is the university’s method for providing hot water,”” said Melissa Dryden, senior program coordinator for planning, design and construction.

In addition to the panels, the rooms will also have smart thermostats that will recognize when the room is unoccupied.

“”After the room has been unoccupied for a period, then the heating or cooling would be lowered to a more energy efficient setting,”” Dryden said.

Each room will also have two different types of outlets, one of which will be a more energy efficient outlet that will shut off when the room is unoccupied.

The halls will also be equipped for water harvesting and storm water mitigation.

“”When we have storms, the water will be harvested and then be able to be used for the landscaping,”” Dryden said.

Students will also be able to open their windows for air circulation.

“”Here I think that’s true in all of the dorms, but on other campuses there are a lot where that is not true,”” said Jim Van Arsdel, assistant vice president for student affairs and university housing. “”Most of the office buildings even here are like that … which is kind of sad.””

With construction going as planned, the details of the residence halls are beginning to take shape. The copper-like panels are making their way onto all of the buildings at the Tyndall construction site.

“”It’s kind of like having an extended birthday in a way, it’s like ‘Oh I didn’t know it would look like that,'”” Van Arsdel said. “”I’m someone who thinks that they know pretty well how it would look, but there are always surprises.””

The construction at the Highland site, which began after the Tyndall site, “”changes pretty dramatically by the week right now,”” Van Arsdel said.

They are in the process of putting brick on the exterior of the buildings.

“”For all intents and purposes the back two buildings are done, and that leaves the front three buildings and they are coming along on those but they’re the buildings that were started later so they are going to finish later”” Van Arsdel said of the Tyndall construction site. According to Van Arsdel, they are holding off on putting in carpet in order to keep it clean.

“”I really hope and I really believe that the people who live in them are going to really, really enjoy them. And maybe more important than just enjoying them, I think they’re going to find them really good places to be while they’re here living and learning,”” Van Arsdel said.

Some students in the Arizona-Sonora Residence Hall are also excited for the dorms to be built because of the noise from the construction.

“”I wake up at 4 in the morning,”” says pre-pharmacy freshman Haley Willett. “”I wish it wasn’t done at night when I’m sleeping.””

Willet stays in her dorm for half of the week and says she is always woken up by the construction.

“”I haven’t received complaints to my office,”” Dryden said. “”It’s difficult because there are residence halls right next door,””

According to Dryden, residents are notified when there will be overnight construction.

“”Residents have been very patient and understanding,”” Dryden said.

The residence halls are expected to be completed by the spring and will be ready to move students in by the Fall 2011 semester.

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