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University to Build Duplexes for Student Use

May 3, 2002

May 3, 2002, Greencastle, Ind. - The April 7 fire at Rector Hall (read more here) and the potential for a larger than expected incoming class (read more here) have led DePauw University officials to approve the construction of eight or nine two-story duplexes that will house eight upperclass students each. The units will be built on Indiana and Jackson Streets between Hill and Larabee Streets, right behind Roy O. West Library (an architect's drawing of one of the units is seen above).

Even before the fire that displaced 116 students (who were quickly relocated in new accomodations) Video Link [DOWNLOAD VIDEO: "Accelerating the Process" 539KB] Audio Link[DOWNLOAD AUDIO: "Accelerating the Process" 375KB] "we were already working on [creating] 40 to 50 beds, with the success that we are anticipating with the fall enrollment, not to mention the success that we're having with retention, we were feeling the pressure anyway," said Richard Speller, vice president for finance and administration at DePauw. "With [the fire] we need to do something a little more dramatic and accelerate the process."

The duplexes will include a kitchen, bathroom and half bath, common area and four single rooms on each floor, adding up to about 1100 square feet of space. Audio Link[DOWNLOAD AUDIO: "Comfortable Living" 339KB] "They'll be new, they'll be attractive, there'll be adequate parking," Speller notes, adding the units Audio Link[DOWNLOAD AUDIO: "Lottery" 145KB] "went really fast" at the student housing lottery this week and are filled for the fall semester. Work on the units will begin very soon.

As for Rector, Speller says the renovations will begin Video Link [DOWNLOAD VIDEO: "Aggressive Plan" 551KB] Audio Link[DOWNLOAD AUDIO: "Aggressive Plan" 370KB] "as soon as we get the building back from the insurance company... They're being designed now so, hopefully, we won't miss a day [of work]. It's really an aggressive plan," but Speller says the University is confident the residence hall will be ready for the second semester of next year (a preliminary architect's rendering of the remodeled north quad is seen at left).

The duplexes are being built to be a long-term housing option for DePauw. Audio Link[DOWNLOAD AUDIO: "Lucy and Mason" 242KB] "We expect the need to be continuous," Speller says of the duplexes, "because when we finish Rector, we plan to keep on going {renovating adjoining dorms] Lucy [Rowland] and Mason. So, we'll need these beds as the renovations go on. Even beyond that point, these new buildings will continue to serve the University and its students."

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