In a meeting on Tuesday, nearly a dozen students heard from campus planners about a proposal to build apartment-style undergraduate housing in the North End of campus.
The project will create 131 apartment units to house approximately 400 undergraduates on Lyme Road, aka Route 10, 1.4 miles north of the Green and would be a five-minute shuttle ride to the center of campus.
Interim Dean of the College Scott Brown described how the project aims to address Dartmouth’s strategic concerns for the student body of the future. He said that the North End residences are being designed to provide older students—mostly juniors and seniors—with a housing option that supports intellectual and community engagement while offering students more opportunities for independence.
Josh Keniston, vice president of campus services and institutional projects, said he thinks the apartments will fill quickly, noting that many students have expressed interest in single bedrooms.
“Our hypothesis is that these units will be in high demand,” he said, adding that Dartmouth is considering flexible options for the apartments, including, for example, 10-month leases. While these details are still to be worked out, “Our goal is for the overall cost to be the same regardless of where they live.”
The units will have kitchens and the site is across Lyme Road from the Co-op Market.
The plan is for the North End apartments to allow Dartmouth to renovate existing residence halls over the next 12 to 15 years while adding much-needed student residences. The flexible project design will allow the residences to be converted to graduate student housing in the future, depending on the institution’s needs.
Cooper Melton, associate principal at the firm Ayers Saint Gross, the architectural firm working with Dartmouth on the project, provided a brief overview of the design process and invited students to share their opinions on possible design elements by placing color-coded stickers on mock-ups of communal and residential living spaces. These posters and stickers will be on display in the Collis TV room through Monday morning, Sept. 26, so that other students can weigh in. (Additional stickers will be available at the Collis information desk.)
Among the questions raised, students wanted to understand more about the project timeline; how designers are thinking about sustainability, including transportation and parking; and how the cost of living in the North End would compare to living on campus.
Over the summer, Dartmouth hosted five community meetings to discuss aspects of the project, including siting, sustainability, transportation, plans for student programming, and public spaces.
In addition, planners have conducted focus groups with students and faculty, including members of student government, house professors and other faculty affiliated with the house communities, the Student Interhouse Council and summer undergraduate advisers, and student residents of the Summit on Juniper apartment complex, which opened this spring near Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.