With the recent enrollment growth at Southern Utah University, a need for more housing options has become a pressing issue. Through a partnership between the university and the Dixie and Anne Leavitt Foundation, a new housing unit is scheduled to be completed in Fall of 2018.
The public/private partnership with the Leavitt Foundation has made it fiscally responsible to build the housing complex. After the Leavitt Foundation completes the building, SUU will lease, manage and maintain the building.
Currently there are 600 beds on campus, Founders Hall will house an additional 320 students and be located just south of the science building on 200 South and Dewey Avenue. Quantum Development Group is the General Contractor on the project and are building a structure that will have a similar look to the current Eccles Living Learning Center.
The facility features 32 suites that accommodate up to ten students with a kitchen, living room, and five bedrooms and bathrooms. The building will be four stories tall and will have common areas and a laundry facility. Pedestrian safety across 200 South will be a priority and officials are looking into either installing a traffic light or footbridge across the busy street.
Chris Ralphs, director of university housing and residential education at SUU, knows how impactful living on campus can be for a first-year student. “On-campus housing, is designed with the needs of a first-year student in mind,” said Ralphs. “The structure of the Residence Life program and on-campus housing functions to support a new student as they transition into college life or as they first learn to live out on their own.”
On-campus housing creates a community that leads to involvement, memories, and friendships that last through a student’s four years. Students live in a location that is both convenient and safe. On-campus housing also gives students an opportunity to better connect with the university.
“Students live in an environment where they can establish connections socially with those living around them while being provided an atmosphere that is safe and conducive to their academic endeavors,” said Ralphs. “First-year students that live on campus are attaining higher GPAs at higher rates than first year students that live off-campus.”
Each floor is led by a Resident Assistant who serves as a peer mentor. RA’s plan activities for residents, enforce policies that protect the community, and respond to residents’ concerns or problems.
“In University Housing, we want to help students to find their balance and develop social skills needed to be successful outside of the classroom,” said Ralphs. “I really believe that it will be a positive combination of providing students the style they prefer while including the social environments they will need.”
For more information about SUU’s housing options visit the University Housing page.