Lodge to expand seating area, get new patio

March 4, 2013

April Wefler
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Amid construction for the new Summit Village, a fence has been put up around the Lodge with a partition wall inside. The fence contains construction for a new patio.

“The patio that was out there is being demolished – it was pretty cracked. It wasn’t designed to take the structure of added walls and a new roof,” said Jeff Davis, executive director of University Center Auxiliary and Enterprise Services. He added that a new slab is being put in.

“Since that’s a construction area, you’ve got to protect it so that people do not get injured by potentially getting into the construction space,” he said.

In addition to the new patio, the Lodge is also building onto the seating area, a result of the Summit Village expansion.

With the addition of buildings Eldora and Copper, the university is adding 192 beds to Summit’s total bed inventory.

Currently, Summit Village has a capacity of 597 students. Alpine Village has a capacity of 303 students, which puts the overall capacity at 900 students. Last fall, the campus leased apartments in Sunset Village because of increased demand.

“We’ve had people that wanted to live on campus that we were not able to accommodate. As the housing enrollment grows, the housing demand grows,” Davis said.

He added the demand has been more on the freshman level, which is why the university chose to expand Summit rather than Alpine.

Davis, himself a father, said that most parents want their children on campus in resident halls as opposed to off-campus apartments.

“When my daughter left to go to college, I wanted her in a residence hall versus in an apartment off campus dealing with unknown roommates and utilities and all that stuff,” he said.

“From a student retention perspective, it’s been shown statistically that freshman students that live on campus are more involved on the campus [and] are more successful to graduation,” he added.

After looking at how many people were coming to the Lodge from a one to 15-minute time block and comparing it with the percentage of people in housing, the university found that the 192 additional beds would overload the capacity of the Lodge, prompting the larger seating area.

Currently, the Lodge has a seating capacity of around 247. Davis said that the university is adding in about 84 seats and that the partition wall is to protect residents dining there now while construction is occurring.

Davis said that typically, not everyone comes to the Lodge at a specific time based on personal schedules, work, classes or similar reasons.

However, “we know that there are times, especially the dinner hour, where more people do arrive at one point in time,” he said.

The new Lodge is slated to be finished at the beginning of Fall 2013, serving the residents living in the new Summit Village, which is scheduled to be finished at the same time.