(VIDEO) As the newest addition to University Student Housing, the pod-style residence hall will house more than 300 students this fall.
Red Raiders have a new option when it comes to on-campus housing. The Honors Residence Hall, located at 901 Flint Ave. near the Rawls College of Business, opened today (Aug. 9) during a University Student Housing ribbon-cutting.
This fall, the hall will be home to 313 incoming freshmen and returning students. Residents will primarily be from the Honors College. Housing managing director Sean Duggan said having much of the residence hall dedicated to the Honors learning community is one more way Texas Tech will be able to recruit and retain students.
"The new Honors Hall is a great addition to the Texas Tech campus and an investment in the success of the Honors College," Duggan said. "This residence hall promotes community among scholars, is very convenient to the academic core of the university and is next door to the Rawls College of Business. That convenience, in addition to amenities like a full-service Starbucks and educational and social programs, will assist these students in their academic success."
Construction began Feb. 9, 2016, and took 17 months to complete. The 77,292-square-foot, four-story co-ed residence hall features 153 double and seven single units over four floors. Each room is furnished with a closet, ceiling fan and movable furniture, including desks and chairs, loft beds and chests of drawers.
"The Honors Residence Hall reflects Texas Tech's commitment to provide students a great educational experience in a community environment that is conducive to success and learning," said President Lawrence Schovanec. "This new on-campus hall helps address, in an innovative way, student demand for a residential experience."
The residence hall is the first pod-style hall on the Texas Tech campus, with rooms clustered around central community bathrooms. Twenty-one private bathrooms also are located throughout the residence hall.
The building features four large lounge spaces, including a main lounge on the first floor and a 50-seat multi-purpose room for special group meetings and presentations. Four laundry rooms provide access to free, limitless laundry, and cable TV and wireless internet access are available throughout the residence hall.
A full-service Starbucks in the residence hall features outdoor seating and will accept dining bucks. Fifteen study and living room areas are located adjacent to the rooms, allowing residents a place to study and socialize with other students in the Honors College.
Honors College Dean Michael San Francisco said, across campus, faculty and staff have realized the importance of dedicating floors in residence halls to specific disciplines or subject areas. Dedicating the new residence hall to Honors College students, who come from different majors, provides an opportunity for those students to interact in unique and productive ways outside the classroom and promotes collaboration and cooperation in learning and problem solving.
"The Honors College represents students from all the other colleges on campus, creating an opportunity for blending different academic disciplines," said San Francisco. "Placing students from different disciplines and backgrounds, with varied interests and aspirations, in the same environment provides a cauldron for interdisciplinarity and interaction. This residence hall, with very special learning and interactive spaces, provides nuclei where learning is stimulated and the opportunity for discussion promoted."
A landscaped courtyard will feature a public art installation, "Wandering," by artist Marc Fornes, to be installed later this year. The painted-aluminum, structural-shade piece will measure between 16 and 18 feet tall and 50 feet long and draws inspiration from the potential traffic flow patterns in the space. It also is inspired by the Banyan tree, with a large center trunk representing the university and the many flourishing roots representing the students. The piece will change appearance depending on the angle from which it is viewed.
This project solution embodies the spirit of our campus by creating a pedestrian-centric park space surrounded by an aesthetic backdrop of Spanish Renaissance detailing," said Michael Molina, vice chancellor of Facilities Planning and Construction. "The interior-scape achieved every level of programmatic expectation and will serve our Honors students for generations.