‘An exciting time’: WMU to build new residence hall for first-year students

Contact: Paula M. Davis
A student walking in the snow in front of Valley 3.

The Harrison/Stinson and Eldridge/Fox residence hall complex, together known as Valley 3, was built in 1965. Valley 3 is located just behind the Valley Dining Center on Main Campus and one of three complexes north of Goldsworth Valley Pond called “the Valleys.”

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University announced today plans to build a new residence hall for first-year students on the site of Harrison/Stinson and Eldridge/Fox halls, also known as Valley 3. It will be ready to house new students in fall 2026. The current buildings will close this May to prepare for construction.

“Western Michigan University is becoming a destination for students who seek vibrant residence halls and a thriving on-campus student experience,” says Dr. Barry Olson, associate vice president for campus life.

“This is a prime location for our students and a great starting place for constructing a new, highly attractive home for new students. We envision a space that meets students where they are and allows us the opportunity to manage future needs as they arise. It’s an exciting time to be at Western.”

Located just behind the Valley Dining Center on Main Campus, Valley 3 is one of the three residence halls known as “the Valleys” that make up the on-campus student neighborhood north of Goldsworth Valley Pond.

Constructing this new residence hall is the next step in the University’s ongoing efforts to modernize and enhance services and facilities to provide the amenities students expect. Arcadia Flats, the University’s most recent residential complex, focused on living options for upper-level and graduate students near the new student center and dining facility. To ensure student housing needs are balanced across campus, WMU's newest residential project will be a building designed for incoming students. This innovative new hall will facilitate community among its residents and offer a built environment that fosters students' academic and career goals.

Access is also a priority for the institution, Olson says, which includes "providing fantastic accommodation at an affordable price. Western offers a wide range of housing price points, and we intend to keep our eye on affordability and inclusivity throughout this and future projects. Attractive options for double and single occupancy will be a part of the design.”

The University recognizes that single-occupancy rooms are highly attractive, but student success experts say that double-occupancy rooms help with building community and student retention. Today, more than 95% of first-year students at Western live in double-occupancy rooms. Room configuration in the new facility will allow the University flexibility to respond to changes in student demand, retention and preference trends over time.

The project will shift housing options for on-campus living. To accommodate needs in the interim, Henry Hall will reopen for new and returning students beginning fall 2024. The residence hall is currently undergoing a series of internal updates to refresh and modernize the space, including new carpet and paint, updated room furniture and updated bathrooms.

Conveniently located next to Sangren Hall, Henry will introduce more housing options on Main Campus and provide easy access to some of Western's most popular on-campus spaces, including the new student center.

Current occupancy in the University’s newest on-campus student housing, Arcadia Flats and Western Heights, is 94% and 95%, respectively.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.