Students returning to campus may be surprised to see how tall the concrete towers rising between Wait Chapel and Polo Residence Hall have become. These towers are the most visible footprint of two new residence halls that will open August 2013.
“I’ve been on many other campuses, and I believe Wake Forest has the best-designed and intentional residential experience for students,” said Donna McGalliard, Dean of Residence Life and Housing. “Our housing options, south to north, mirror their emotional and social development. Our first-year students live on South Campus, with buildings designed around a double-loaded corridor model. The rooms open onto the hallway and feature common bathrooms – perfect for meeting others and building a community.
“As sophomores, they move to The Quad with more private bathrooms and assignments typically based on friendship groups they’ve formed. As upperclassman, they move north to apartment-style housing that prepares them to live on their own.”
The two new north campus residence halls will offer a mix of suites with double and single rooms for about 480 upper class undergraduate students, just time for the new three-year residency requirement. They were designed with the input of student focus groups and an administrative and student committee, which also planned the living experience of South Hall, which opened in fall 2010. The new residence halls will offer block housing, allowing students to choose three to eight students they want to live with in a very close space.
“It will be like walking into an efficiency apartment,” McGalliard said. “Students will be able to do limited cooking in their rooms with microwaves, but there will also be large kitchens on each floor.”
Other amenities include study spaces, both private and public, large recreation lounges where students can play games like foosball or ping pong, and media rooms, perfect for gaming tournaments or movie nights.
“The look of the new residence halls will be very reminiscent of the residence halls across campus with the brick arches, patio spaces and that southern front-porch feel our students love,” she said. “We want to honor the architecture on our campus, but also provide different and more modern spaces with lots of light, openness and opportunities for gathering.”
A new dining facility will also offer a variety of service options, from sit-down meals to short order menus and a convenience store.
The two residence halls will be energy efficient, designed to meet silver-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
“The students have been great advisors for us as we made plans for these new residence halls,” McGalliard said. “They know what they want and are genuinely interested in helping us design these new spaces. We are excited about the opening of these facilities and look forward to the future of residential life on campus