The construction of the residential village is projected to begin at the end of November and be completed by August 2024.
Taylor University plans to use the field south of the Olson parking lot for new residential housing. The village has multiple names, but Ron Sutherland, supervisor of the project and special assistant to the president, referred to it as the residential village.
“This fall, we were pretty tight in housing,” Skip Trudeau, vice president for student development and intercollegiate athletics, director of the master of arts in higher education program, said. “In fact, in some places that were overcrowded, we've converted spaces into rooms that last year weren't rooms.”
Trudeau said that two years in a row, Taylor has had large incoming freshmen classes.
Each year, new students come in and the seniors graduate, creating a balance to the student population. However, Trudeau said that next fall, the incoming and graduating class will not balance each other.
The townhomes will provide further space and not just for students. When staff members move to Upland, the search for housing can be a struggle. Trudeau said that the residential village will also be open to faculty.
Trudeau wants to keep the Taylor residential experience intact. One thing he loves about Taylor is the integrated housing of freshmen through seniors. Taylor desires to avoid establishing a separation of underclassmen/upperclassmen, but instead maintain the relationship students have on campus.
Both Trudea and Sutherland expressed confidence that the upperclassmen won’t have trouble maintaining involvement in Taylor’s culture. With juniors and seniors living in the townhomes, opposite of Wolgemuth and Campbell Hall, there will be a balance of upperclassmen across campus.
“Each unit will host from either 28 students (one unit will have a housing director staff apartment), the rest will have 32 students,” Sutherland said. “Depending on final costs from bidders, we plan to be able to house from 156-188 students.”
Building a complete residence hall would cost more and provide more space than necessary, Sutherland explained.
Sutherland said that the biggest challenge they have faced in constructing the townhomes is the logistics of getting supplies. Demand and national economics must be taken into consideration. It takes time for materials from nearby and abroad to arrive.
The townhomes will also have landscaping similar to the rest of campus with plans of building a pond, Sutherland said.
The Taylor community has the residential housing to look forward to. Each year Taylor students ask for more housing options, Julia Hurlow, associate vice president for student development & director of residence life, said.
“The residential village is another housing variation for students,” Hurlow said. “Taylor students have the corner on creativity. This is another opportunity for history to be made by engaging in new ideas for tradition.”