May 7, 2012
Adapting and providing facilities for a growing student body while maintaining aesthetic consistency is one of the primary goals of Echo and Copper, two new residence halls set to be completed in fall 2013.
With approximately 900 students residing in the apartments and residence halls, growing demand for on-campus housing has been the primary motivator behind the new dormitories’ construction.
On April 24, campus officials gathered at the official groundbreaking of Echo and Copper, to be located just west of Columbine Hall.
Many patrons at the groundbreaking ceremony were optimistic about the new buildings’ prospects and usage.
“I think [the buildings] will bring about a new dynamic and something that students want to see,” said Jameel Braddock, residence hall manager at Summit Village. Braddock also hopes that Echo and Copper will help build community in Summit Village. “I think that that’s important, that we have space where we can meet the students where they are.”
Connor Burke, a freshman living in the current residence halls, agreed with Braddock’s statements. “I think it’s great, I think that [it] definitely will expand the housing so that we don’t have to turn all of our lounges into rooms. You know? We’ll have more room for students and places to hang out.”
Along with the enthusiasm surrounding the new halls, some questions have come up about future expansion projects after Echo and Copper.
Ralph Giese, director of Residence Life and Housing, stated that future additions for on-campus housing would be in a new location. “We would look to add an entirely new village with a new dining facility.”
Giese said that an additional village project was merely a matter of time. “I think it’s inevitable that a new village will happen, it’s just a question of where and when,” he said.
Echo and Copper are designed to strike a balance as unique additions while simultaneously complementing the existing residence halls within Summit Village. What sets the two buildings apart from their predecessors is the usage of floor space and a greater emphasis on single suites.
Lou Galletta, member of H+L Architecture, which is designing the buildings, said, “The real important goal for the interiors was a suite arrangement and that mostly rooms should be singles; kids today don’t like sharing rooms.” H+L Architecture is the same firm that designed the expansions of the University Center and Kraemer Family Library.
Galletta added that there is a possibility of a future sky bridge between the existing Aspen building and Echo, although the current budget does not allow for it.
“Because of budget, we can’t really afford to do that in this phase, but we’re going to design Echo to provide a knock-out in one of the windows that is strategically located to allow for a future bridge,” he explained.
While many would be thrilled to see the project completed by fall 2012, the new buildings are still a year-and-a-half away. There will undoubtedly be much excitement around campus once the Echo and Copper are finally welcomed into Summit Village in 2013.