Artist's rendering of part of buildings in the first phase.

Housing project to begin at university     

One of the largest, if not the largest, single construction project at Shippensburg University begins Aug. 4 and will end in 2015 with all new residence halls for on-campus students. The project also means changes in roads and parking on campus that will affect members of the campus community as well as visitors.

“Shippensburg room1University strives to provide our students with the academic and support services they need to reach their dreams,” said President Bill Ruud. “These new residence halls will further enhance our nationally-recognized excellence by providing students with additional out-of-class experiences that will help them academically and personally. When the buildings are complete, students will have outstanding facilities in which they will live and, as importantly, learn. We're excited about this opportunity to meet the needs of our students.”

Phase one of the three-phase project will include construction of three residence halls, two on the north side of campus and one on the south side. The student-approved project is under the direction of Shippensburg University Student Services Inc. (SUSSI), an independent 501(c)(3), non-profit organization that serves as the voice for the student community and is separate and distinct from the university. SUSSI is the project owner and is responsible for financing and construction.

The overall project includes razing all but one of the current residence halls and constructing all new residence halls in semi-suite and full-suite arrangements. It is being developed by Campus Apartments, one of the nation’s largest developers, owners and managers of student housing. Cost of the initial phase is approximately $70 million with total project cost estimated to be more than $ 200 million.

In 2007 a comprehensive housing plan was prepared as part of the university’s facilities master plan. The university currently has seven traditional residence halls and one suite-style facility. These facilities were built between 1959 and 1976. In addition it leases an apartment building adjacent to campus from the Shippensburg University Foundation. All these residence facilities can house a total of 2,715 students.

When the three-phase project is completed in summer 2015, total capacity will be 2,975 students, an increase of 260 over current capacity.

In 2010, a market analysis determined a strong demand by students for new housing and the project was subsequently approved. The new housing will feature semi-suite and full-suite accommodations. Full suites and two-bedroom suites will also have a living room and kitchenettes.rooms

Phase one includes construction of three buildings, two on the north side of campus adjacent to Adams Drive and one on the south side of campus near Reed Operations Center. The buildings will house 924 beds in semi-suite and full-suite plans. One building will include a wellness center housing the current health center and counseling center, and one building will include facilities for the university’s Honors Program. Students should be able to move into this phase for the Spring 2013 semester.

Phase two calls for three new buildings to open in August 2014 and phase three calls for three new buildings to open in summer 2015.

Because of the project, changes to selected roads and parking areas on campus are underway or planned.

Lebanon Drive is closed from Adams Drive to Etter Health Center and the Visitor-2 parking lot by McLean Hall is also closed. The one-way section of Lebanon Drive is now two-way from the Reisner Dining Hall parking lot to Cumberland Drive.

Beginning Aug. 4, the contractor will start installing construction fences around the two housing sites. On the south side of campus, fencing will close off Dauphin Drive from York Drive to the end of Lackhove Hall. The Resident-1 and Faculty/Staff-7 lots and the volleyball court near the Faculty Office Building will also be closed. For a drawing on the area, please go to http://www.ship.edu/news/Southside.

On the north side of campus, fencing will be installed closing off Lebanon Drive from Adams Drive to Etter Health Center and closing the Visitor-2 parking lot by McLean Hall. A portion of the Resident-3 lot near McLean Hall will also be closed. For a drawing on the area, please go to http://www.ship.edu/news/Northside.

Starting Aug. 8, York Drive from Dauphin Drive to Reed Operations Center will be closed for construction of a new parking lot in the grassy area between York Drive and the service areas of Kriner Hall and Huber Art Center. The area will remain closed until the new parking lot is complete about the end of October.

Visitors to the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center will still have easy access to the center but are asked to follow directional signage and be aware of possible changes.

Information will also be posted on the campus construction website available at /facilities/campus_construction/.