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Construction begins on new dorms along Haley Concourse

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Construction begins on new dorms at Auburn University on Haley Concourse.
Photo by Kara Beth Carr | Photo Editor | The Auburn Plainsman

By Landi Rutledge | Culture Writer

Construction began this week on a new residence hall along Haley Concourse, set to house 371 students and to be completed for the fall 2026 semester.

University architect and assistant vice president of planning, design and construction Simon Yendle oversees construction projects across campus. The university has conducted multiple site studies according to Yendle, who described the current location as preferred by him and the Auburn University Board of Trustees.

“When you look at the highest demand for dorms on campus, it’s usually the upper quad, lower quad and then it kind of dissipates from there,” Yendle said. “We saw an opportunity to be able to create some new housing at this location. Relative to student success sort of being in the heart of campus, it makes a lot of sense.”

The dorms are set to be finished in two years, with availability for students in fall 2024. The 125,000-square-foot building was approved to be built for $72 million and has numerous features Yendle hopes will set them apart from other dorms on campus. The university will also build a new office for university housing. 

“It brings a new fresh approach to the freshman experience,” Yendle said. “You’ll have the new housing offices, so you’ll have a more direct office to student housing, which I think from a convenience standpoint makes a lot of sense.”

The dorms will be freshman doubles, like the Quad, but taking on a modern interpretation. Within each dorm, there will be two separate bedrooms and a shared bathroom. The bathrooms with have a single shower and a single, improved sink. 

One of the new features will be an independent control of heating and air consisting of a four-pipe system. While the older dorms can only change the air conditioning and heating from hot to cold, the newer dorms will have controls to set the temperature to hot, cold, warm or cool. 

There will be a laundry room on every floor, group study spaces and a kitchenette space which will include an oven and a microwave. Multipurpose rooms and student common spaces, placed at the ground level, will be available to students. Two new outdoor courtyards will be built and connecting campus from the Haley Center through the upper quad and up to the Mell Classroom Building. 

A new amphitheater space is also in the works, and there are plans to combine the trash compactor collection, recycling and the bicycle storage for all of the upper quad into an efficient space. An ICC Storm Shelter is also in progress, where they have sized the storm shelter to accommodate not only the occupants of the building but the Upper Quad as well.

Yendle said the university has several reasons for the long wait for new dorms, but time constraints played the largest role. The Campus Master Plan lays out the university’s goals for construction over a decade-long period. Although based on a rough plan, the actual timeline for construction on campus is subject to many ever-changing factors.

A graphic of the construction project for the dorms along Haley Concourse. Contributed by Facilities Management.

“There were things that were accelerated that [weren’t] anticipated. One of them was the demolition of The Hill, which was essentially the loss of about 1,200 beds,” Yendle said. “We had been working on the actual design of the building for a while, and then there were some issues with some level of affordability, and we were trying to figure out if it was the right thing to do.”

The university is exploring several sites for potential new residence halls. For these plans, Yendle hopes to test a new layout and bring a new element of cleanliness.

“It’s gonna become a marquee for housing, and we hope that it improves the student experience, which is always the primary goal for us,” Yendle said. 

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