New innovations in a new community on campus

The latest in housing innovations are being rolled out in the new Weber State University dormitory that rose from the dust of the old housing over the summer. The new facilities are coming after students expressed discontent with the old ones, which were built back in the 1960s. Already, resident assistants, who act as mediators between students living on campus, were able to move into the building before other students could, and therefore had a preview of the conditions inside.

One of these RAs, WSU junior Tessie Zarogoza, said that the new kitchen and laundry facilities would give it a very open atmosphere, and what she felt would be different in the new housing as opposed to the old because of this.

“The community — we hope to really unite this building along with all the other buildings we have in housing,” she said. “We’re going to try to make it so that everybody feels comfortable coming out of their rooms and not just staying in them. So that’s one of our main goals.”

Each floor of the building is designed to uphold this goal of building community and keeping students united. Each floor contains laundry facilities, a communal kitchen and an activity lounge for students’ use, with billiard boards, shuffle boards and big-screen TVs. The entire facility also contains some new features that have been developed for campus housing over the last 10 years. As students walk into the building, they might notice that the roof is covered in solar panels, which are used for heating water. Lighting and temperature control turns off automatically in the rooms when students have been away from them for more than 20 minutes. These new features have made this building, and the other two that will soon be built, candidates for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver Certification.

“They are really comfortable,” said WSU junior and RA Devyn Wright about his rooms. “The lighting is not too bright and comfortable, and it’s a good temperature.”

Other amenities include debit and credit card machines in the laundry rooms, the ability for students to go online to see which washing machines are available, and IPTV, which enables students to watch television on their computers or laptops via Internet connection.

“It’s a really nice building,” Zarogoza said. “It’s really going to unify and make housing grow at Weber State.”

Wildcat Village, as the complex is being called, is replacing the LaSal, Wasatch and Stansbury halls, which were demolished over the last year. Promontory Tower will also be demolished soon. The 48,400-square-foot building is the first of three that will be included in the new Wildcat Village, and cost $9.9 million. The new village, when finished, is expected to serve WSU students for the next 50 years.

“We’re very excited about the new halls opening up next week, and we can’t wait for students to enjoy the new learning environment they experience,” said Daniel Kilcrease, the director of Housing and Residence Life.