Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


FAU breaks ground on new dorm

FAU broke ground Monday Aug. 6 on a new seven-story dorm for freshmen and sophomores. It’ll have classrooms, conference rooms, computer labs, a gym and lakeside dining options. The building is being constructed over Lot 24, on the corner of St. Lucie South Avenue and Indian River Street. Rendering courtesy of FAU media relations

FAU’s newest dorms are anything but your standard residence hall.

The new seven-story building will also include two floors of study lounges, classrooms, conference rooms, computer labs, a gym and lakeside dining options. It’s being constructed over Lot 24, on the corner of St. Lucie South Avenue and Indian River Street.

Trucks roared past beeping machinery — it was hard to hear FAU President Mary Jane Saunders as she talked about the 614-bed dorm during the groundbreaking ceremony.

Crammed under a tiny white tent, a hundred students, faculty and staff listened as leaders from across the university spoke. Charles Brown opened the ceremony with welcoming remarks at 8:30 a.m. today, Aug. 6.

Brown is the vice president for Student Affairs.

“The construction of this residence hall will allow us to house more students on campus,” Brown said. Saunders estimates the university dorms will house 4,200 residents total once the building is complete.

Not only will the seven-story dorm house students in its 400 single rooms and 200 double rooms (in four-person suites), it’s the first FAU dorm with a faculty-in-residence program, meaning some faculty will live among students.

Rendering courtesy of FAU media relations

FAU Trustee William McDaniel is the only professor on the board of trustees, as the current president of the university Faculty Senate. The board of trustees and the Florida board of governors approved funding for the dorm project in June.

Each faculty senate president sits on the board for the length of their term. Faculty members will share dorms with students, but McDaniel won’t be one of them.

“I think they’ll pick one of the younger professors, who just came here and probably needs housing,” McDaniel said, “maybe assistant professors.”

Faculty-In-Residence programs are a growing trend, according to SG Vice President April Turner. Turner mentioned Cambridge, Harvard, Miami and Illinois as universities with top faculty residence programs.

“The list of schools that don’t have it is shorter than the list of schools that do,” Turner said. “It’s very popular now.”

The $46 million project is funded by bonds the university sells once students pay housing fees as part of their tuition. The construction team working on the dorms is Cummings-Balfour Beatty, the same joint venture that constructed the $70 million FAU football stadium, and the IVA dorms as part of of the $121 million Innovation Village project.

FAU will pay for leasing, marketing, student programming and residential life, while Cummings-Balfour Beatty will pay for property, management and physical operations for all housing facilities on campus, according to a press release.

“This is great for the students,” SG President Robert Huffman said. “It brings more opportunities for them to live on campus and have the real college experience.”

Housing in this dorm will be geared to freshmen and sophomores, according to Saunders.

“It’s a real commitment to our students, to have another residence hall designed for first and second year students,” Saunders said. “It’s going to be very important to them as they choose FAU.”

Constance Scott, a member of the Boca Raton City Council was at the groundbreaking.

“The city of Boca loves the students and loves the university,” Scott said. “We are a college town.”

Scott agrees with the new dorm being geared toward new students.

“I think it’s really important for freshmen to be close to campus,” Scott said. “It gives a real sense of college life when freshmen are close to their classes.”

The dorm will be ready for resident faculty and students to move in next fall.

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  • D

    DavidAug 10, 2012 at 1:01 am

    The dorms in IVAN have the smallest kitchen possible and because they made the stove and sink in the same corner area, its impossible to have someone clean and cook or prep food at the same time.

    Also there are no windows which can open if something burns. I really wouldn’t want to be there if there was a serious fire. I feel like the smoke would kill you before the fire.

    • J

      Jenny FromdablocAug 12, 2012 at 5:54 pm

      Wahhh! :'( It’s a college apartment-style dorm, grow up and stop complaining.

  • J

    JamesAug 6, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    What do you mean David??? Explain…?

  • D

    DavidAug 6, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Really hope these new dorms arent as poorly planned as the junky IVA ones.

  • C

    Concerned StudentAug 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    I have heard that the Department of Housing and Residential Life’s Assistant Director Artie Jamison is going to hire a disproportionate number of minority students to staff the newest dormitory as Resident Assistants/Controllers. When I first heard that minorities have the inside track for employment I was excited. As a non-traditional minority student I was extremely tempted to utilize this information to my advantage and apply for a position. However, a professor told me that I shouldn’t apply to work for FAU’s Housing and Res. Life Dept. at this time because it is well known within university that Res. Life is not as good of a place to work as it once was and that some things are more important than a free place to live. Perhaps this is why some Resident Controllers have left the Housing Dept. recently?

    Faculty and staff are talking. It is likely that the employees who haven’t bolted out of Res. Life are going to deny this, as will the Director of Housing and Student Affairs. Can you ever imagine Brown, King, or Mena admitting to anything negative about the school? Tight lips are part of the minimum qualifications FAU seeks for their Administrative positions. Only the University Press has the cojones to investigate this and find out if here is any validity to these rumors.

    Someone at the UP ought to contact the University of Miami and Western Illinois to see if there was an uptick in minorities hired during Jamison’s tenure there. Another way to check this would be to allow the UP’s resident math guru to cross reference the total population of FAU students against the staff list of the R.A.s, R.C.s and G.A.s in the Res. Life Dept. to see if the Housing staff is truly representative of FAU’s student body. Maybe the UP can also make a FOIA request to review all of the applications for employment to the Housing Dept. during Mrs. Jamison’s tenure to see if there was a disproportionate number of minority students hired over other applicants. Numbers do not lie.

    All I know is that I have heard similar sentiment from numerous well respected faculty and staff at FAU. Even though my friends think I am crazy for not applying, I have to follow my heart. Reverse racism is still racism.