Special to The Journal
The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor has announced plans to construct a new residence hall on campus. At its February meeting, the UMHB Board of Trustees approved the construction of a 46,000-square-foot residence hall on the north side of the campus, on what is now a parking lot between Crusader Way and Hardy Hall. Green space will be added between Hardy Hall, Burt Hall, and the new building, so that the new residential area will become an extension of the university’s existing Quad.
The three-story facility will offer dormitory-style housing for up to 214 students. The building will be designed so the different floors and wings can be closed off from one another; this will make it possible to house both men and women in separate spaces in the building and will provide a flexible way to adjust the allocation of beds, depending on the demographics of the freshman class, year by year.
UMHB’s Strategic Plan for 2011 through 2018 calls for the university to provide campus housing for at least 65% of its full-time undergraduate students, so the university maintains a robust residential community. With record enrollments for the last eight years, the university has been adding apartment-style housing with the additions of Garner Hall (2010), Farris Hall (2011), and College View Apartments (2014-16). At UMHB, approximately 94% of the freshmen reside on campus during their first year of college, and as the number of incoming freshmen has grown each year, the need for more dormitory-style space has become apparent.
“UMHB has sustained a steady, healthy growth over the last eight years,” said Dr. Steve Theodore, senior vice president for administration and chief operating officer. “As we look toward the future, we want to continue to offer state-of-the-art campus housing for our students. We believe it is optimal for our incoming freshmen to live on campus, where they can get the kind of support they need as they make the transition from high school to college. It is an important time in their lives, and we want to provide an environment that will enrich their freshman experience.”
Plans call for construction of the residence hall to begin this spring, with the goal of having the project completed and ready for use for the fall 2018 semester.