The Village bringing new look, features to campus housing

Construction of Village.The Village, a new living experience coming to campus in fall 2010, continues to round into shape on the south side of Glimmerglass Lagoon.

It represents an independent, green and modern campus living option, adding to the college’s myriad of offerings, said Rick Kolenda, interim director of residence life and housing. Five cross-campus task forces that include students have been involved in developing the Village.

“This becomes another in our many community options, including special programs in Johnson and Hart Hall, suites in Onondaga Hall, quiet floors and learning communities,” Kolenda said. “We offer a wide variety so students can find the kind of space they want.”

But the Village, to house 350 students, brings features not seen before on the lakeside campus that already houses around 4,200 students. Its 12 townhouses surrounding a community center present innovations ranging from the living arrangements to the walls themselves.

Suite options

The Village housing options include 38 three-story six-bedroom units, 26 two-story four-bedroom arrangements and four single-floor four-bedroom units compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

All units have single bedrooms ranging from 116 to 136 square feet, providing more individual space than traditional residence halls. The ground floors consist of a living room and kitchen, separated by an island, measuring 13 feet by 25.5 feet. Kitchens include a full-size stove, microwave, dishwasher and at least one refrigerator.

The six-bedroom units will feature two full bathrooms and two refrigerators. Four-bedroom units will feature separate shower, sink and toilet compartments so three people can get ready at once and have privacy.

The buildings’ appearance and close proximity evoke the look of a cozy traditional European neighborhood. What Kolenda called “the great lawn” offers a green space in the center where students can throw a frisbee around or just hang out.

The Village’s community center will contain a cafe, recreation area (expected to include a pool table, ping-pong table and piano), TV sets and seating so larger groups can enjoy more popular programming, meeting rooms, student mailboxes, and the office and apartment for the director of the community.

New arrangements

Because the bedrooms are all singles and bathrooms have separate elements, men and women will be allowed to live in the same townhouse unit if they choose to do so. Those in co-ed arrangements must select the option specifically and sign a special agreement.

Because the Village is a more independent option without resident assistants, applicants should be upperclassmen with on-campus living experience. To apply for consideration, those admitted to Oswego as freshmen must have accrued 45 credits and be in at least their fourth semester living on campus. Students admitted as transfers should have at least 45 credits and be in at least their second semester of living on the Oswego campus. All applicants must carry at least 12 credits and remain full-time students while living at the Village.

To streamline the placement process, applicants in groups of six or four will have priority over smaller groups and individuals.

“In the residential experience, we think it’s important for people to be connected with other people and connected with the college,” Kolenda said.

Green living

Many features for the Village reflect the college’s focus on sustainability, as the complex aims for gold certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building standards.

The exterior walls are made of structural insulated panels—strong prefabricated panels with insulation in the middle—that result in less construction waste while better maintaining interior temperature against heating and cooling.

The Village’s focus on high-efficiency fixtures and fittings includes two central mechanical spaces with very efficient boilers and chillers. Heating and cooling come through radiant ceiling panels. Energy recovery ventilators and low-watt compact fluorescent lighting will further reduce energy consumption.

A 1,000-watt windmill on a 60-foot tower will be on site for educational purposes. While the windmill will not be hooked to the units for generation, residents will be able to see how it operates and learn how much energy wind power generates.

Informal environmental education will infuse the community. While residents are not billed for utilities, contests between units to see who can live most energy-efficiently are under consideration, said Marie Shuman, associate director of residence life and housing.

Kolenda described living on campus as “an immersion experience” where students are not only close to their classes but to one another. “Whether they live in the Village or one of our other residential options, it’s all about living where you learn and being part of the special place that is the SUNY Oswego community,” he said.

For more information, visit the Village Web site.

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(Posted: Oct 28, 2009)

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