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U of M to open new, 17th Ave. Residence Hall

Media invited for a sneak peek on Friday, Aug. 23

August 20, 2013

Media note: Media are invited to take a sneak peek tour from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23 at the residence hall, located at 326 17th Ave. S.E., Minneapolis. For media attending Friday’s tour, please park in the 4th St. ramp (1625 4th St. S.E., Minneapolis) and enter through the doors on 17th Ave.

Intentionally designed and developed to foster community among residents, and built to emphasize energy efficiency, regional materials and long-term sustainability, the University of Minnesota is set to welcome its first students to the 17th Ave. Residence Hall. The building is the U’s first new, on-campus residence hall since Mark G. Yudof Hall opened in 2002.

The six-story, co-educational hall features a new Fresh Food Company restaurant, two chapter rooms and housing for Greek organizations, as well as many features current University students have come to expect.

"This residence hall is so much more than just a place to sleep," said University Housing and Residential Life Director Laurie McLaughlin. "Students can interact, socialize and study in a variety of unique common areas within the hall. The opportunity to share experiences and develop friendships in a comfortable, welcoming environment will help students achieve success in the classroom and adjust to college life."

More than 600 students will begin moving into their new 17th Ave. Residence Hall rooms on Monday, Aug. 26.

The 17th Ave. Residence Hall includes 311 student rooms, 289 of which are double-occupancy rooms and will house a mix of first year and upper division University students.

Four Living Learning Communities (LLCs) will also be located in the hall, including the Second Year Experience LLC, Pillar House LLC (a community for first year students interested in becoming a member of a Greek organization), Leaders in Transition LLC (a community for transfer students) and the Horace Huntley for African American Men LLC.

Each floor features three community lounges, a large floor lounge and study rooms, while the building’s basement houses laundry facilities, dedicated music practice rooms and a game room with a community student kitchen.

The University’s newest residence hall utilizes best practices in sustainable building design and construction.

The hall includes the first gray water system in a University of Minnesota building, which will collect up to five day’s worth of rainwater to supply toilets inside and sprinklers outside. There is also a green roof over the chapter houses facing University Avenue that uses plants to filter rainwater

The building utilizes Energy Star certified equipment, and features high efficiency plumbing and motion lighting fixtures. Heat recovery systems were incorporated that recover waste heat from mechanical units and utilize it for building heat.

A premier feature of the building’s main lobby is a striking wall of reclaimed Twin Cities wood, made by Wood from the Hood utilizing felled area trees. The U also contracted with environmentally friendly vendors to provide furniture made with recycled content (such as corn & soy by-product) in the Fresh Food Company and lounges throughout the hall.

Fresh Food Company
ARAMARK is ushering in a new era in residential restaurants at the University of Minnesota with its Fresh Food Company. The 17th Ave. Residence Hall’s built-in restaurant offers an open kitchen, Marché style dining environment where chefs prepare made-to-order, fresh food in full view of customers.

Modeled after a European marketplace, Fresh Food Company allows customers to see their food being prepared in front them. It will feature a Mongolian-style grill, a pizza and pasta station, a fresh salad bar, a grill station and a deli area. The tables and chairs will be movable to serve small and large groups. This set up provides a true, one-of-a-kind residential restaurant experience.

Fresh Food Company will be open to the public from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, until 7 p.m. on Friday and for brunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday.

The restaurant will be separated from the living areas of the residence hall via secured, card-access doors.

Greek Life
The 17th Ave. Residence Hall includes a strong Greek component, reflecting a continued partnership between the University and the various Greek organizations represented on campus.

"For our Greek organizations to have space in this new residence hall is extremely important," said Matt Levine, director of the U’s Office for Fraternity and Sorority Life. "The two chapter rooms and the Pillar House will benefit the entire U of M Greek community."

The Pillar House LLC will house up to 40 students.

Chi Omega Fraternity (women’s sorority) and Theta Chi Fraternity (men’s fraternity) both have chapter rooms located on the ground floor of the residence hall, with outdoor seating available facing University Ave. S.E. Each room features a kitchenette, private bathroom and large meeting space.

Design and construction
Approved by the University of Minnesota Board of Regents in February 2012, the 17th Ave. Residence Hall's architect of record was TKDA, the design architect was Mackey Mitchell and it was built by Mortenson Construction.

Construction began in February 2012 and lasted 18 months. The total cost was $62.5 million and paid for with University bonds.

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