Work is under way to construct a new 500-bed residence hall by August 2014.
The Board of Regents approved the $50 million project at its meeting Dec. 14.
Michael Molina, vice chancellor for Facilities Planning and Construction, said Texas Tech is in the programming phase, which is when his office receives applications for possible construction partners.
Molina said he believes a partner will be chosen by mid-February and once the decision has been made, work will begin on design and infrastructure.
The new residence hall will be located east of Knoxville Avenue in the triangle bound by 19th Street and Texas Tech Parkway, he said.
The hall, Board of Regents Chairman Jerry Turner said, is essential for Tech’s growth.
“With the growth that we’re having, with the emphasis on increasing our graduate students, I think that this residence hall concept is a terrific idea,” Turner said at the meeting. “It’s a terrific opportunity for the university and a great need for the university.”
When completed, Molina said the hall will be approximately 160,000 to 170,000 square feet and will be in a village-style complex. The building will be in the Spanish Renaissance style of Tech.
The village, he said, will be in a modular style with 10 to 12 buildings with approximately 40 to 50 beds in each and will be pedestrian-centric, with no through traffic or parking in the complex.
The buildings composing the village, Molina said, will consist of various heights and designs.
Because the target demographic for the complex is graduate, law, medical and upperclassmen, the hall will feature efficiencies, studio suites and conventional apartments, he said.
However, the residence hall will not be closed to underclassmen, Molina said.
Chancellor Kent Hance said the need for the hall is immediate, although it will not be completed until July 2014 with “heads in beds” by August 2014.
“We’ve got to continue to provide more on-campus housing,” he said at the Board of Regents meeting. “(Students will) see — it’s going to be state of the art. It’s going to have good parking and also, it’s going to be close enough to the bus routes that you’d be able to get anywhere on campus real quick.”
The project will consist of three phases, with the first totaling $50 million and creating the residence hall, Molina said.
Phase 2 would create a 15,000-square foot mixed-use retail/entertainment district while Phase 3 would add 500 beds.
The mixed-use retail/entertainment district would establish a variety of eateries in the complex.
The second and third phases, Molina said, are interchangeable and will depend upon what is needed.
There are 370 parking spaces available in the area of the future complex, which Molina said is adequate for a 500-bed residence hall.
Interim President Lawrence Schovanec said there is a demand on campus for more housing than Tech is able to provide.
One of the motivations for the complex, Schovanec said, arose from data that showed students who live on campus perform better academically and are more likely to graduate.
“It’s a new concept in residential living with greater flexibility,” he said. “I think it will appeal to a broader spectrum of students. We think this will contribute to success in a very broad way.”
Chinello Nwanko, a sophomore media and communication major from Houston, said she was unaware of the new residence hall, but would be interested in living there once it is built.
Nwanko said the hall appeals to her because being 25 years old, she is a non-traditional student.
Because of the hall, Nwanko said she would like to complete her graduate studies at Tech.
“I think it’s a good idea,” she said. “For a graduate student, it would be more easier for them to concentrate and navigate the whole school.”