Northside hall sets new standard for campus living

Photos by Shelly Hanks, WSU Photo Services Article, SoundSlides by Robert Frank, WSU News

  • 08-16-2012 WSU News – Community, Duncan Dunn Hall renovation complete
  • 08-24-2009 WSU News – Olympia Avenue dormitory welcomes students (photos)

PULLMAN, Wash. – Seventeen months in the making, Washington State University’s new Northside Residence Hall offers students a variety of highly desired features — convenient location, high-level security, community focus, digitally connected, and energy efficient.

“Northside hall is the epitome of what we are striving to provide, with amenities and community space that will attract and retain students to live on campus,” said Terry

Boston, assistant vice president for WSU’s Administrative Services. “This hall sets the benchmark for all future residence hall projects.”

Constructions crews on Aug. 7 were hurridly finishing up final details on the project, as most rooms sat vacant — the quiet before the storm.

Students will invade campus Friday-Sunday, Aug. 9-11, as WSU’s annual Week of Welcome begins and students move in. And every room in the new hall has been spoken for.

The new five-story, fully co-ed hall will serve as home to approximately 300 students, about 75 on each upper floor. That includes approximately 90 returning students and 75 athletes.

The $32.6 million building is conveniently located across Colorado Street from the WSU track, Hollingbery Fieldhouse and the athletics facilities, and adjacent to the Northside Cafe.

It’s also near Beasley Coliseum, the University Recreation Center (UREC), tennis courts and golf course. In addition, it’s within a few minutes walking distance from most academic buildings and the Compton Union Building.

The building has a C-shaped footprint, creating two unofficial communities on each floor, each with about 38 students and their own resident advisor.
Each floor has two kitchens, a laundry room, four quiet study rooms, and active community meeting rooms.

“We’ve tried to give the students lots of places to just hang out and interact,” said Louise Sweeney, WSU Capital Planning and Development project manager.
“The building’s C-shape also allowed for the creation of an interior courtyard — similar to the one at Community Duncan Dunn,” as well as a large recroom on ground floor with a pool table, a living room on second floor with a grand piano, and a roof-top terrace the overlooks Colorado Street and WSU’s athletic facilities.”

“To ensure security, the facility requires card-swipe access at virtually all points — exterior entry doors, hallways, elevators, roof-top terrace, even bathroom and shower areas,” said Aubrie Piper, residential education director at Northside.

The living units come in a variety of configurations featuring single and double rooms, with or without private bathrooms, and two-bedroom or four-bedroom suites with private bathrooms.

“Northside Residence Hall is an outcome of the long range housing plan approved by the Regents in fall of 2010,” said Boston. “The overarching goal is to continue upgrading the housing inventory and meet the demand of students and increased enrollment at WSU.”

WSU Housing & Dining, comprised of numerous facilities across campus, is a “self-sustaining entity supported entirely by the room and board charges paid by the students for these services,” Boston said

With construction of the hall completed, the university will be seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification approval, Sweeney said. The building’s major LEED attributes include:

  • emphasis on using recycled materials in the construction
  • construction materials purchased within a 500 mile radius
  • use of low VOC-rated paint, which organic compounds, making them nontoxic and very low odor
  • walls and ceilings boast high insulation values
  • windows are low-E rated — reflecting energy/heat in the warmer months; and keeping in energy/heat in during cold months
  • tightly constructed for efficient heating and cooling
  • thermostat in every room, so the temperature can be individualized “within a range”
  • natural daylight is available in all student rooms
  • bathrooms feature low-water-use plumbing fixtures
  • nearby bus access
  • easy access to Green Bikes and two Zipcars
Project Team/Information
  • Construction Start Date: 03/12/2012
  • Scheduled Construction End Date: 07/01/2013
  • WSU Project Manager: Louise Sweeney
  • Construction Engineer: Jason Harper
  • Contractor: Architect: NAC/Architecture – Spokane
  • Mechanical Engineering: MW Consulting Engineers – Spokane
  • Electrical Engineering: NAC/Architecture – Spokane
  • Structural Engineering: DCI Engineers – Spokane/Seattle/Portland
  • Design Builder : Graham Construction & Management – Spokane
  • Landscape Architect: Kathy Shultheis, Urban Nature Consulting LLC – Spokane
  • Total Project Budget: $32,600,000
  • Construction Costs: $25,000,000