June 4, 2004
Junior Natalie Cook, who's lived in the residence halls since she was a freshman, would be easy to imagine as a poster child for on-campus housing. In truth, visiting Baylor's older residence halls as a high school student nearly kept her from enrolling.
How things change. Now there's North Village, the University's first new residential facility in almost 40 years. "No incoming freshman like I was will be able to say, 'I love Baylor, but I don't really like this part,'" said Cook, a public relations major and one of 600 students who will live in the facility when it opens this fall.
North Village exemplifies a national trend in university housing that offers apartment-like units and more amenities, said Frank Shushok, dean for Student Learning and Engagement. And, important to the process is lots of student involvement throughout the planning stages.
- 10 different suite configurations
- Semester fees include cable television, high-speed Internet access and laundry.
- Extended visitation hours: 10 a.m.-2 a.m. daily
- A large study area, prayer garden, outdoor covered patios, copier services, a sport court and a café
"The end result has been overwhelming," said Shushok, BSE '91. Dozens of students served on focus groups and hundreds made suggestions on everything from flooring and furniture to amenities. Applications for North Village's 600 beds, with paid deposit, surpassed capacity by almost 300, he said. "In every example, the students' level of enthusiasm for it has exceeded our expectations."
The 222,000-square-foot living-learning center is on University Parks Drive between the Dutton Avenue Parking Garage and the Rogers Engineering and Computer Science Building. It is Campus Living and Learning's first partnership with an academic unit, the School of Engineering and Computer Science. Walter Bradley, Distinguished Professor of Engineering and associate dean for research, and his wife, Ann, will live in the center as Baylor's first faculty-in-residence couple for the 180 ECS students in the facility. There also will be a residence hall director, assistant director, resident chaplain and 12 community leaders for the three-building complex.
Also this fall, students in Baylor's academic honor programs will have an opportunity to reside in Alexander and Memorial halls, renovated over the summer, as part of CL&L's second partnership with an academic unit. Edward Blum, a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core, and his wife, Sarah, will live in Alexander Hall as faculty-in-residence. He will be one of four Honors College faculty members to maintain offices in Alexander.
Shushok said he and his staff are grateful the University recognized the value of "creating a truly residential campus," one of Baylor 2012's imperatives. "Many of us went to Baylor, love Baylor and wished that it had different housing for students to live on campus for longer periods of time," he said.