With these considerations in mind, the college is breaking ground this spring on a multi-million-dollar complex of new residence halls on the northwest side of campus, modeled roughly on Anna Mann. The four buildings—slated to open in fall 2008—will be grouped around a sustainably landscaped quad, with a new coffee shop nestled at one corner. Each new house will accommodate approximately 30 students, and will include common kitchens and study rooms, with bike parking available nearby. The college’s building program will continue with the addition of a new Spanish house in the cluster of language houses near Woodstock Boulevard, expected to open in early 2009. Finally, a new pedestrian bridge—at 370 feet, one-third again as long as the current bridge that spans Reed Lake—will be erected across the canyon to connect the new north-campus quad to Gray Campus Center, the student union, the library, and academic buildings on the south side of campus.
All told, Reed will add 142 beds in five new buildings across campus, at a projected cost of $27 million. The planned construction represents the college’s most ambitious residential building effort to date, and also signals a determined expansion of campus life into the largely undeveloped tract of land northwest of Reed canyon. When complete, the new residence halls will finally put Reed in reach of a long-standing goal to house 75 percent of students on campus.
But make no mistake: as much as the new dorms are about meeting current students’ needs, they are also about responding to future Reedies’ expectations. College officials say prospective students are drawn to the college primarily for the academics, and also seek a vibrant community housed in safe and hospitable on-campus facilities that foster an intense academic lifestyle. They and their parents compare residence halls when choosing where to attend college.
“They’re not just looking for a place to sleep and keep their stuff,” says Mary Catherine King, dean of student services. “They want a place to live and to be a part of a larger community.”
Campus map showing the four new north-campus residence halls (upper left) and pedestrian bridge across Crystal Springs Creek (middle). The current bridge across Reed Lake will not be visible from the new bridge.