WMU officials begin planning next campus residential construction

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Artist's renderings of the new Western View community center

KALAMAZOO--With two new residential buildings and a community center already being added to the campus's popular Western View housing complex, Western Michigan University officials are laying plans for a new round of campus housing and dining enhancements.

"While it is still early in the planning stages, we are looking at the feasibility of adding another new residential area, and creating a modern dining facility that will build on the success of our Bistro3 facility in Davis Hall," says Dr. Diane Anderson, vice president for student affairs. "We have drawn on student opinions and feedback throughout our planning process, and in the coming months we will be seeking additional student input that will be an integral piece of the decision-making."

In May, Anderson announced that two to three new buildings and a community center will be added to the Western View complex, immediately west of the complex's 330-bed Phase I. Details of Phase II have since been finalized, and two new residential buildings are now under way along with a community center that will be for the use of all Western View residents. Potential amenities for the new community center include study areas, a common area and outdoor recreation space.

Construction for the new Western View units is on a fast-track schedule and the 174 planned beds in the new apartment-style units are expected to be available for fall 2013 occupancy. Phase I of the complex opened at full capacity in August 2011, and will experience only limited turnover for fall 2012.

The new construction and the Residence Life and Dining Services expansions in the planning stage are designed to support university recruitment and retention efforts and are part of a long-range housing and dining improvement strategy to create sustainable environments that cultivate student learning and development. Supporting the university commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship, the new facilities are being built to achieve LEED—Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design—silver certification.