Butler University officially broke ground on Friday, May 8, on Sunset Student Residences, a state-of-the-art, 633-bed sophomore residence hall that will substantially modernize and update Butler’s housing options.
The $40 million building, which will open in August 2016, will span from Butler Way to Blue Ridge Road along Sunset Avenue, in what previously had been a parking lot.
“The most important part of this project is the improvement of our housing stock,” President James M. Danko said. “Now, housing is going to be an extra added attraction to go along with world-class education.”
The new residence is the result of a partnership between Butler University and American Campus Communities. Under the agreement, American Campus will build and maintain the facility, while Butler will provide staff to manage the building.
Sunset Student Residences will feature rooms set up in pods of three to four bedrooms, with no more than two students in any room. Each room, which shared, is configured to have a divider to provide more privacy. There will be a bathroom for every bedroom, and each student will have his or her own vanity and sink. In addition, each suite will have a kitchenette and furnished living room area.
In addition, the facility will have a large multipurpose room that is being described as “a living room for the campus.” The room will be used for conferences, events, and other gatherings, as well as studying.
Other amenities will include a fireplace and social lounge in the connecting area between the two buildings, an outdoor kitchen and barbecue, a lounge on each floor (some for recreation, some for study), and a small cardio-fitness center.
This effort represents the first phase of a comprehensive student housing master plan that will address the University’s overall housing inventory. The scope of the master planning process encompasses the renovation or redevelopment of approximately 1,200-1,500 student beds and related student amenity space in Ross Hall, Schwitzer Hall, and Residential College.
“American Campus Communities brings an enormous amount of experience and vision to our partnership,” Danko said.
By establishing a long-term partnership with American Campus, Butler will be able to dramatically upgrade its housing options, while maintaining the financial flexibility needed to invest in future academic facilities.
American Campus Communities President and CEO Bill Bayless praised Butler’s leadership for its efforts.
“With your vision and your leadership and the commitment to quality and doing things right that you all have brought to this process, we’re honored to be your partner,” he said. “Our only goal will be to exceed every expectation that you and your students have for this facility.”
American Campus Communities––the nation’s largest developer, owner, and manager of high-quality student housing communities––has completed similar projects at more than 40 universities, including Princeton, the University of Southern California, Texas A&M, and Arizona State.
Examples of their work can be seen at http://www.americancampus.com.
Since 1996, American Campus has developed more than $4.3 billion in properties and acquired more than $4.8 billion in student housing assets. The company has been awarded the development of more than 70 on-campus projects, in addition to 26 projects developed off campus.