New year, new residence hall


Aldo Sarabia

The duck pond is

Emily Milano, Reporter

The university welcomes the class of 2026 with a brand new residence hall located on the west side of campus at 161 Stadium Heights Drive.

Construction on New River Residence Hall began in February 2021 and replaced Justice Hall which was demolished in summer of 2020, according to Campus Construction Updates. New River Hall received its certification of occupancy in July and began occupying residents during move-in week, Aug. 16-21. 

New River Hall houses 751 residents including resident assistants and the resident director, making it the largest dormitory on campus, according to University Housing. The new hall is suite-style, arranged coed by suite while offering apartment-style rooms for upper-level students as well as study lounges on each floor, according to University Housing. 

Evan Harrison, freshman psychology major, said she is excited to be living in the university’s newest residence hall. 

“I absolutely love New River. It’s so inviting and spacious, my favorite part of my dorm is the high ceilings,” Harrison said.

The building is also wheelchair accessible, according to University Housing.

 “The layout is perfect and I love the location. It’s very accessible for anyone which made moving in so easy,” Harrison said. 

 A new parking lot was added adjacent to the residence hall including approximately 140 parking spaces replacing Gardner and Coltrane residence halls which were demolished in September of 2021, according to Campus Construction Updates. 

The university selected RISE: A Real Estate Company in 2018 to fulfill a $191 million housing project in a public-private partnership, according to Campus Construction Updates. RISE and the university signed paperwork in February 2019 for the development project planned in three phases, with completion dates of fall 2020, fall 2021 and fall 2022. 

The multi-phase project consists of the demolition of outdated residence halls and the construction of parking lots accompanying new residence halls. West side’s newest residence hall, New River, is the third and final phase of the university’s major housing project. The building of Laurel Creek was the second phase with the construction of Raven Rocks and Thunder Hill being the first phase. The housing project also includes the demolition of several residence halls including Bowie, Eggers, Coltrane and Gardner Halls located on the west side of campus. 

According to Matt Dull, associate vice chancellor of Finance and Operations, the demolition of Bowie and Eggers hall is projected to be finished by mid-fall this year to be replaced with a new surface parking lot. 

“All the abatement work for Bowie is complete and the demolition is in progress and moving along pretty quick,” Dull said in a Campus Construction Update podcast. 

Dull said, the abatement for Eggers Hall is in progress and is projected to be complete within the next two months. 

“Pulling down Eggers will be a slower process because it is right next to the Stadium Parking Deck so we have to be really careful when pulling that down,” Dull said. 

The housing project supports the university’s strategic plan and is associated with the UNC System as it aims to benefit academia and the community along with promoting student life. The housing project is meant to create an environment designed to advance academic and personal success by giving students the opportunity for on-campus housing, according to Campus Construction Updates.

Community members attending campus events as well as those participating in summer youth camps and professional conferences will also benefit from the project by adding more parking spaces and residence halls for campers to stay in, according to Campus Construction Updates. 

The university’s goals and metrics associated with the UNC System are also advanced by the housing project by making on-campus housing accessible for first-year and transfer students.