Erica Lynn Lares
On the first day of the spring semester students arrived on campus to find the University under construction at the corner of D and Second streets.
The new dorm construction began in January and is scheduled for completion in July of 2012. It will house 378 students.
“The residence hall construction is a step toward the growth of the institution,” said Chip West, senior director of central services and capital planning.
The new dorm will have a clubhouse, study rooms, and meeting spaces. It will house the university bookstore in addition to other stores, all of which will be located on the first floor. It will also feature an outdoor quad area.
“Having a quad area where students can meet will be good because the school is lacking a center point,” said Sonali Shah, freshman movement and sports science major who currently lives in Stu Han. “The quad will give that center point, which will give students a more campus life feeling.”
The new residence hall will offer suites. It will have six students in a four-bedroom, four-bath wing. Each wing will share a common area.
Kendall Kraiss, a sophomore liberal studies major who lives in the Oaks, said that the dorm she lives in is too small. Some double rooms have three to a room, which makes living conditions very uncomfortable.
“I feel sorry for the students that have to live in the three-person dorm rooms,” Kraiss said. “I live in a two-person dorm and it is already too small; I could not imagine how bad it is for the students having to live with three people.”
The increase in enrollment this year – a 26 percent increase over the 2009-2010 academic year – has impacted the dorms, forcing the institution to put three students into two student dorm rooms, while other students’ housing applications were denied.
The construction is scheduled to last for a year and a half. During the construction parking lot F, the Hanawalt House Courtyard and the Blickenstaff family Pavilion will be closed.
La Verne is working with KTGY, an architect based in Irvine. Although the construction project brings new faces to La Verne, it also brings a familiar face. K.A.R construction is the contractor for the project. La Verne has been working with K.A.R construction for eight years.
“The dorm construction is part of a master plan which is the start of a whole renovation of the school,” West said.
“I am very excited for the construction … even though it may cause some inconvenience for the students and faculty by not having the parking lot F available.” “I know in the long run it will benefit us even more,” Kraiss said.
Erica Lynn Lares and be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.