Illustration by Ron Van Der Veen/Mithun
If you’ve been on SPU’s campus in the last five years, you may have noticed a “proposed land use” sign across from Demaray Hall on Sixth Avenue. The sign will soon be replaced by a nearly 75,000-square-foot residence hall, ready to house 150 students by Autumn 2014.
Construction of the residence hall, currently referred to as “Irondale” for nearby Irondale Avenue, began in May 2013. The five-story building will be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified and include underground car and bicycle parking. As a result of record undergraduate enrollment every year since 2008, traditional residence halls are at capacity, says Don Mortenson, senior vice president for planning and administration. “Building Irondale will add much needed on-campus capacity close to services such as Gwinn Commons dining hall,” he says. The $14.7-million project will be funded by a combination of proceeds from the sale of property outside SPU’s master plan development zone and low-interest-rate debt issued for the project.
Jeff Jordan, vice president for student life, notes that the hall’s design is “very intentional about community gathering places. It combines many of the different things that students love about Moyer, Hill, Ashton, and Emerson halls, and gives us another type of option. This will strengthen a student’s college experience.”