UAB Builds New Residential Hall

By on February 13, 2014
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Anyone walking around UAB’s campus the past few months has likely noticed that there is a lot of construction happening.

As progress on the new student center continues UAB has announced that it is also building a residential hall.

School officials, such as vice provost for administration and quality improvement Harlan Sands, say this was in response to a high demand for on-campus housing and a limited supply of beds.

A record-breaking 1240 UAB freshmen moved into Blazer, Camp and Denman residence halls last fall.

An additional 1267 upperclassmen reside in on-campus living spaces.

This brings the total students living in residential housing this year up to 2507 which is the largest total residential population UAB has ever had.

“Undergraduate enrollment has continued to grow in the last four years,” Sands said..

Higher enrollments have lead students scrambling to get housing.

Few students have forgotten the priority housing debacle of Spring 2013.

The high number of UAB students trying to register for priority housing at one time, led to the UAB housing server to crash.

“I had to wait two days to register for priority housing,” junior Grace Johnson said.

It took over an hour for the server to become functional, and some students reported that it took over three hours to enroll for priority housing which is a process that should take minutes.

This year’s priority housing period begun on Monday, February  3.

Many students mentioned that it took close to two hours to enroll for priority housing even though no major catastrophes resulted. This left some students worried that they cannot get into their dorm of choice.

“Living on campus has been an integral part of my college experience. It is a shame that many students are forced to move off-campus due to limited availability of housing,” senior Eric Smith said.

Johnson had a tough time getting housing on-campus last year.

“I didn’t have the money to pay the down-payment so I was given a later time slot to register for housing. By the time I was able to register, most of the residential halls were filled to capacity.  I remember feeling stressed and frustrated that I couldn’t live on campus,” Johnson said.

Recognizing the need for more on-campus housing options, the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees approved plans to build the sixth residence hall during a meeting on April 12, 2013.

“Having students live together on campus creates communities across undergraduate academic disciplines and plays a role in UAB’s collegial and creative environment,” Sands said.

So far several details have been announced including that the 217,000 square foot, L-shaped building will be composed of an eight-story tower and a four-story wing.

Additionally, it will include common space and multi-use office space.

It is anticipated to house 700 students, increasing UAB’s on-campus housing population to 2,880 students living in six residence halls.  The project is projected to cost $46 million dollars.

It is being built on UAB owned property on “the north half of the block bordered by 9th and 10th avenues south and 16th and 17th streets.”

Residents will be conveniently located in walking distance to the Campus Green, Heritage Hall, and all other UAB buildings.

The new residential hall has not been named as of yet. Currently, the building is expected to be ready for operation for fall 2015.

“I am glad that UAB finally recognizes the need for additional residential halls. I hope that they will continue to expand housing options, particularly for upper classmen,” Smith said.

Besides a new residential hall, UAB is also remodeling the Counseling and Wellness Center and Student Health Services Center into a centralized Student Health and Wellness Center.

The new center will be located on the the 3rd floor of the Learning Resource Center.

“These projects exemplify UAB’s commitment to our students,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts. “Collectively, they will enhance wellness programs, health care and the overall student experience.”

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