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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

New residence halls almost complete

Jim Van Arsdel, assistant vice president, student affairs and housing, explains the progress of the dormitories, looking from the center of the project toward Park Avenue, at the corner of Sixth Street and Euclid Avenue during a tour of the project Wednesday.  The inset photo (By Tim Glass/Arizona Daily Wildcat) shows the project from the view of Euclid Avenue on January 20, 2010.
Jim Van Arsdel, assistant vice president, student affairs and housing, explains the progress of the dormitories, looking from the center of the project toward Park Avenue, at the corner of Sixth Street and Euclid Avenue during a tour of the project Wednesday. The inset photo (By Tim Glass/Arizona Daily Wildcat) shows the project from the view of Euclid Avenue on January 20, 2010.

The new residence halls on campus are close to completion, with a date picked to start moving in furniture.

One of the new residence halls, Árbol de la Vida, meaning tree of life, located at Tyndall Avenue and Sixth Street and set to house 719 honors students, will be “”substantially complete”” by the end of this month. Another, Likins Residence Hall, located at Highland Avenue and Sixth Street with be “”substantially complete”” in March.

According to Jim Van Arsdel, Residence Life director, the term “”substantially complete”” means there will still be a few changes to make and people could get into the building if they really had to, though people probably couldn’t live in it.

Likins Hall, which began construction three months after Árbol de la Vida, can house 369 students and is named after former UA President Peter Likins.

Furnishing will begin on April 11 when approximately 25 semi-trucks will bring in student room furniture.

Both halls have subtle themes running throughout.

Likins Hall has a river theme due to the fact that runoff water used to flow through the area where the hall now rests, a problem Van Arsdel said they have hopefully fixed. The shape of Likins is modeled after the path the water used to follow.

Árbol de la Vida is a five-building complex with two themes. One is of a slot canyon, which can be seen both through the complex’s shape as well as on the faux copper paneling that has a picture of a slot canyon on it. The second is a tree theme. The complex’s lobby is lined with glass. The front of the glass is etched with what, from far away, looks like trees. As onlookers get closer to the glass they will be able to see that the trees are actually made up of tree related poetry. The glass lining the lobby will be one of the last things put up due to its delicate nature.

Sustainability is also emphasized in both halls.

“”We want to have kind of a demonstration for students and anyone else who is interested,”” Van Arsdel said.

The halls will have thermostats in student rooms that can sense when people are present and adjust the heat or air conditioning accordingly. There will also be green outlets, which are literally green so students can tell the difference, that turn off when a student leaves the room.

Joining two of the buildings in Árbol de la Vida is what is known as the study bridge that is lined with glass. Above the bridge sits two rooms with glass etched with tall grass, fitting with the complex’s focus on nature. In the two rooms will be two tables with outlets, which allow up to six students to sit around two television screens to see what everyone is doing, allowing for collaborative work, according to Van Arsdel. These types of tables were first tested in Posada San Pedro Residence Hall.

Árbol de la Vida will also have video conferencing set up, something Van Arsdel hopes will allow classes to be taught in the building and allow students to connect with other classrooms and students internationally. Van Arsdel anticipates video conferencing being able to accommodate around a dozen students.  

Both halls are also designed to bring students together. Hallways have an hourglass shape allowing ends of hallways to become gathering places. Student rooms are also closely situated together creating a “”porch-like”” effect and giving everyone a close neighbor, according to Van Arsdel.

These halls will also be the first to try out two new types of shades, one that allows for filtered light and another that is completely black allowing you to sleep anytime, said Van Arsdel.

Coronado Residence Hall will close for a year in May for “”limited renovation”” on things like plumbing.

In the fall, Yuma Residence Hall and Árbol de la Vida will be the only halls that cater specifically to students in the Honors College. Both halls are on schedule to be completed in time to welcome students in the fall.

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