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August 6, 2009

New residence hall to open at Purdue

Open house
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A new Purdue University residence hall that has 365 student rooms with private baths and air-conditioning, and living rooms with flat-screen televisions for each cluster of 22 rooms, will open its doors Aug. 15 when students begin returning to campus.

The last new residence hall to be completed was in 1993, when Hillenbrand Hall opened featuring rooms in a suite arrangement.

First Street Towers, a $52 million housing facility, is a unique campus housing configuration, where upperclassman can have their privacy plus enjoy the benefits of living on campus, such as easy access to classes, well-maintained facilities and a secure environment, said Tom Paczolt, general manager of First Street Towers.

The new hall includes a community center consisting of a conference room, multipurpose room, recreation room and student club rooms. Construction of the complex, across the street from Earhart Dining Court and just a block from the Purdue Recreational Sports Center, began in June 2007 and ended this month.

The public toured the new hall during an open house Thursday (Aug. 6).

First Street Towers
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"This is a great new housing option for upperclassman because it gives them their own personal space to live in and focus on their studies," said Barbara Frazee, executive director of University Residences. "The residents also will live in a community atmosphere. We have programming and activities to help them transition from college into the work force.

"For instance, there will be activities to teach them how to make banking and housing decisions beyond college; how to look for a job; how to write resumes and practice for job interviews – skills that upperclassman need, in particular."

First Street Towers is especially well-suited to a new generation of students who are used to growing up having their own bedrooms, Paczolt said.

The new residence hall will replace rooms lost to renovations at Cary Quadrangle, the conversion of Young Hall into an office building and the razing of apartments at Purdue Village.

The single rooms increase the diversity of housing options available off campus and provide students a move-up option in addition to suites and apartments, said John Sautter, vice president of housing and food services.

"University Residences this year will once again fill nearly all 12,000 beds it has available on campus," said Bob Heitert, director of administration for University Residences. "Last spring, about 41 percent of students signed up to live another year on campus. That, coupled with the new freshmen class and transfer students, will culminate in a robust occupancy for fall this year."

Purdue Residences is the largest on-campus housing system in the nation among universities where students are not required to live on campus. About 30 percent of all Purdue students live on campus.

Purdue University Residences is entirely self-supporting and receives no tax or tuition dollars. More University Residences information is available online at

Writer: Soumitro Sen, 765-496-9711,

Sources: John Sautter, 765-494-1000,

Barbara Frazee, 765-494-1000,

Bob Heitert, 765-494-1000,

Tom Paczolt, 765-494-0200,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Visitors sign a guest book during Thursday's (Aug. 6) open house for the new First Street Towers. The newest Purdue residence hall has 365 student rooms with private baths and air-conditioning, and living rooms with flat-screen televisions for each cluster of 22 rooms. First Street Towers officially opens its doors Aug. 15 when students begin returning to campus. (Purdue University photo/Andrew Hancock)

A publication-quality photo is available at

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