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Published May 20, 2021
A plan to create new, modern student housing for University of Wyoming students took a major step forward with recent action by the UW Board of Trustees.
Trustees last week approved the interior and exterior designs of two new residence halls and a dining facility to be located west of 15th Street, near McWhinnie Hall and Half Acre Recreation and Wellness Center. The new, five-level residence halls will accommodate a total of 900 students, replacing outdated residence halls along Grand Avenue.
Additionally, the board approved the exterior design of a new, three-level parking facility at the site of the current Ivinson parking lot at the southwest edge of campus. The parking structure will be built to help address the loss of parking spaces due to residence hall and other construction around campus. When completed, the Ivinson Parking Garage will provide spaces for 375 vehicles, as well as the offices of the UW Police Department.
The total cost of these buildings and other related work is estimated at about $250 million. The Wyoming Legislature has authorized the university to issue bonds to finance construction, and the Board of Trustees is scheduled to consider bond issuance at its next meeting in June.
Construction of the parking facility is scheduled to begin this fall. Construction of the new residence halls and dining facility is expected to begin in 12 to 15 months and take about two years to complete.
“These projects will dramatically improve the housing options available to our students,” UW President Ed Seidel says. “We have known for some time that our current residence halls, now more than 50 years old, need to be replaced. These new facilities, located closer to the central campus and featuring modern design and amenities, will be a significant upgrade for student life at our university.”
In preparation for the new residence hall construction, Wyoming Hall was demolished earlier this year, and utility relocation is currently taking place.
The new north residence hall will be built at the corner of 15th and Lewis streets. In addition to providing rooms for 434 students, the facility will include a two-level dining facility that seats 850 students.
The new south residence hall will be east of Half Acre Recreation and Wellness Center, with rooms for 466 students.
In both residence halls, there will be typical double and single rooms, two-bed semi-suites and four-bed semi-suites.
“We conducted significant research to determine the best mix of housing options for our students,” Vice President for Student Affairs Kim Chestnut says. “The interior design approved by the Board of Trustees will provide a wonderful environment for students to build a sense of community during their first year on campus and beyond, which we know is so important for their success.”
The exterior design of the residence halls, as well as the parking facility, will follow the Collegiate Gothic sandstone style of other buildings on UW’s central campus. Attractive green spaces and other landscaping will be created as part of the projects.