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Syracuse University’s new housing strategy takes shape

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

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Plan includes two new residence halls, demolishing two existing dorms 

Syracuse University plans to demolish Marion Hall (pictured here on March 10) and the adjacent Kimmel Hall and dining center as part of its new housing strategy. The university will build a “modern, new” residence hall following demolition of those two buildings. Syracuse’s new housing strategy, announced on Feb. 26, also includes building a new residence hall at 700 Ostrom Ave. ERIC REINHARDT / CNYBJ

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A “modern, new” residence hall will replace the current Marion Hall, Kimmel Hall, and Kimmel dining center on the Syracuse University campus after the existing buildings are demolished.

The university also has plans to build a new residence hall at 700 Ostrom Ave.

Those elements are part of the first phase of the new strategic housing plan that Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud announced Feb. 26 on the university’s news website.

The announcement follows the completion of a three-year housing review, which found that undergraduate students wanted more options for living in university housing on North Campus that provides “seamless access to various campus facilities and amenities.”

The strategy follows approval from the Syracuse University board of trustees.

First phase plans

As part of the new strategy, the university plans to build a new residence hall at 700 Ostrom Ave., adjacent to Thornden Park. The new facility will house at least 450 students. 

The architect has been selected, and the student-experience team will host several meetings this spring for student input. Syracuse University’s goal is to begin construction this year.

In addition, Syracuse University also plans to demolish Marion Hall and Kimmel Hall and dining center on the corner of Comstock and Waverly Avenues to make way for a “modern, new” residence hall. 

The university is currently working through a timeline for the design and construction of this new facility.

As Syracuse explained it, the strategy was informed by an experience Syverud had when he first arrived at the university. He lived among first-year students in Brewster, Boland, and Brockway Halls “with the goal of understanding how students were experiencing campus and what the University could do to make it better.”

“Over the years, we’ve made renovations to residence hall bathrooms, and expanded and improved community spaces,” Syverud said in the news release. “But many of the residence halls on campus have remained largely the same for too long. Today’s students have dramatically different wants and needs for student housing. This ambitious plan will provide our students with the living environments they expect that will allow them to succeed and thrive.”

The group charged with development of the new strategy was co-led by Allen Groves, senior VP and chief student experience officer; Brett Padgett, senior VP and CFO; and a group of university trustees. Together with other campus leaders —including John Papazoglou, senior VP and COO and Pete Sala, VP and chief facilities officer, among others — the group analyzed what students expect in housing stock; the existing facilities of peer institutions; and what Syracuse needs to “meet expectations of our future students.”

These two new facilities will be the first new residence halls since Ernie Davis Hall opened 15 years ago, Padgett noted.

“Modern, comfortable housing is important for achieving our enrollment and retention goals, and it is key to the success of our students — both inside and outside the classroom,” Padgett added. “This multi-year strategy is innovative, and achievable, and will benefit Syracuse University long into the future.”

The housing strategy builds on the recent announcement that new housing will be made available at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel & Conference Center and at 727 South Crouse Ave. — the apartment complex formerly known as the Marshall, Syracuse University said.        

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