west mich dorm Western Michigan University
The Harrison & Stinson Halls will be among the first of 12 residence halls to be replaced.

Western Michigan University plans to replace 12 residence halls

The student housing to be replaced is in The Valley area of the Kalamazoo campus.

Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo plans to replace all 12 residence halls in The Valley area of its campus.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that the university hopes to replace the entire neighborhood of 12 halls in the next decade.

The first residence halls to be replaced are Harrison/Stinson halls and Eldridge/Fox halls. The 1960s era-dormitories will be demolished, and construction on their replacements is expected to begin early spring 2018, officials say. Those would open for the 2020-21 academic year, the university says.

Western Michigan held a forum so that students and faculty could discuss what they would like to see in new residence halls.

Students asked for amenities such as recreational rooms, computer labs, snack bars and outdoor game areas for basketball or volleyball courts. Along with the amenities, they also said air conditioning and larger room sizes were important to them. Among the perks mentioned, students also voiced their concerns for affordability and environmental impact.

The cost to live in the new residence halls will be more than living in an older hall, says David Dakin, the university's director of planning, space management and capital projects.

A total cost of the project is yet to be determined. The going cost of constructing college residence halls is $55,000 to $75,000 per bed.

Dakin said the university plans to be more environmentally "sensitive" than construction was in the 1960s. 

The plans to update campus began in 2013. Projects already completed include Western Heights, a new residence hall complex that replaced Bigelow and Hoekje halls in 2015, and the Valley Dining Center.  

The Valley Dining Center, which opened its doors to student September 2016, is a two-story facility offering both grab-and-go options as well as restaurants. 

 

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