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St. Lawrence unveils plans, design for new dorm

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CANTON — St. Lawrence University students are excited about plans for their new abode.

The university unveiled schematics for a 150-bed residence hall at its most recent Board of Trustees meeting, but students weighed in on the plans this week at a forum organized by the student government, the Thelomathesian Society.

“Over 100 students came out for information,” said Taylor L. Castator, society president. “It was a very positive response, students were gasping.”

The building, which will be four stories at its tallest point, will be completed in the fall of 2014. It is being designed with student input, said Thomas E. Evelyn, vice president for communications.

“We’re being very careful that we respect neighboring architecture and that the residence hall reflects the campus and highlights the quad as a special place on campus,” he said. “We’ve worked really closely with the students to help plan and design this residence hall.”

The college will begin construction of the 45,000-square-foot building this year on what is now a road and parking lot between the Quad, a large lawn, and the E. J. Noble Center.

Students were pleased to discover the plans would augment the amount of green space on the Quad, Ms. Castator said.

“The Quad is kind of a sacred space for students,” she said. “There was some concern about the impact. They explained how much of the Quad we would actually lose, but it isn’t much, and they are also providing more green space to the side. Once students understand that, they get excited.”

Students were also happy that the new dormitory will feature amenities not found on campus.

“Students like the idea of private bathrooms in all the rooms,” Ms. Castator said. “Right now we kind of have a wide variety of housing. We have first-year dorms that are traditionally styled, senior townhouses that have a common room and such, and suites. This dorm is unique.”

Mr. Evelyn said the design will allow students to further customize their college experience.

“Students have a wide range of academic interests. They also have a wide range of ideas for where they’d like to live,” he said. “It gives them one more option for living space.”

Designs are still being refined by McKinney & McDonald Architects, Latham, but the building could include a cafe and use geothermal energy for heating and cooling.

St. Lawrence University is using private gifts to fund the $12 million project; so far $4.3 million has been raised.

“This is a focused project to raise money just for this, for the construction of the residence hall,” Mr. Evelyn said.

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