Autumn 2007: Campus Beat
Oxford breaks ground on 350- student complex
By Mary J. Loftus
Natalie Owens 07OX 09C says the close-knit community was one of the qualities that first attracted her to Oxford College. “But I don’t think I understood just how ‘close’ this community experience would be until I had the joy of living with not one but two roommates for my freshman year.”
Owens, who was placed in a triple because of dorm overcrowding, spoke at the groundbreaking of Oxford’s new, 350-student residence hall in May. “But I was lucky because Safiya, Tanya, and I were able to bond almost immediately,” she said. “This new hall will provide exciting ways to bring students together.”
Next fall, residents will be able to enjoy a cup of coffee on an outdoor patio beneath a pine canopy, study late at night without disturbing a roommate, and walk across the street for a quick game of tennis.
“This new complex will allow us to ‘unpack’ everything, and to repurpose Branham and East halls, which were constructed in the 1960s,” says Dean of Campus Life Joe Moon. “Our philosophy is, we don’t want students separated from each other, we want them to feel connected with their floor, to run into each other in the hallway.”
To watch real-time construction of the new Oxford College residence hall, visit the live webcam site. Watch out for “dueling cameras” while others have control of the camera at the same time!
The residence hall consists of two three-story buildings with an interior courtyard. Lead architect Andy Akard, of Jova/Daniels/Busby, says the buildings balance ample common space with privacy for quiet study. The Sophomore Class Gift of 2007 will be used to decorate a common room, says Austin Reynolds 07OX 09C: “We hope to make it one of the more inviting spaces in the building.”
The hall will be Oxford’s first LEED-certified building. Jay Wansley 90OX 92C, of Ecos environmental design, was a landscape architect on the project. “Having been a student at Oxford,” he says, “I know what the environment’s like, I know what’s fun and inviting for students, and I tried to incorporate that into the design.”