July 23, 2001
University Apartments gets new name, look
By Michael Terrazas firstname.lastname@example.org
Life at Emorys Clairmont Campusformerly University Apartmentsis
pretty dusty these days. Earthmovers, trucks and all manner of construction
equipment carve their craggy tracks across the exposed red clay, and four
massive cranes tower over the acreage from their cardinal points.
A gorgeous view of the north Georgia piedmont, it aint. But in
a little more than a year, the Clairmont Campus will be scarcely recognizable.
I really view it as a distinctive campus that were building
for Emory University, said Todd Schill, assistant dean of Campus
Life and director of Residential Services. I like the different
partnerships that are evolving, that cross over different divisions within
the University. That is a special quality and a uniqueness most campuses
To be sure, the Clairmont Campus will be primarily a residential facility,
with a total of 1,520 bed spaces for undergraduates (limited to upperclassmen)
and graduate students. But the rest of the 18.44 acres will be much more
than just empty space; also going up is a $9.6 million Student Activities
and Academics Center (SAAC) that will feature athletic facilities like
indoor and outdoor basketball courts, an Olympic-size swimming pool and
tennis courts, along with classroom and office space as well as dining
facilities complete with an outdoor patio overlooking the adjacent athletic
These features are where the partnerships come in; Schill and his staff
are working with Emory College, the Information Technology Division, the
General Libraries, Community Services and the Parking Office, Athletics
and Recreation and even the Health Sciences Center in coordinating programming
Were trying to use all the space as much as possible,
said Schill, suggesting that classrooms could accommodate classes during
the day and study groups or student project meetings at night. The goal,
he added, is to approach 24-hour-a-day usage for many of the spaces.
Of course, everything must be built before people will come, and there
is a staggered schedule for completion of the various projects. Art Platt,
project manager for the new housing units, said part of the graduate facility
will be completed by January, when he will begin giving a facelift to
the old UA Tower, which despite all the construction is still a functioning
residence for some 400 graduate students. Those students will be moved
into the new housing, and all the housing units are scheduled for completion
by summer 2002. The SAAC then will come online by November or December
of next year.
All totaled, the construction cost for the three projects (housing, Tower
facelift and SAAC) comes to roughly $66 million, but the new housing facilities
will look every bit as tony as their price tag; a typical undergraduate
unit will feature four single bedrooms, two baths, and full kitchens and
living rooms. Graduate units will be basically one- and two-bedroom apartments,
and there will even be 18 professorial units in the graduate
housing to provide living space for faculty and staff members.
Ill be living there, Schill said, adding that he has
received inquiries from both junior and senior faculty about living at
Clairmont Campus. The professorial unitswhich boast multiple bedrooms
as well as office areas, half-baths, separate dining rooms and laundry
and storage roomsare peppered throughout the graduate
living quarters, he said, to encourage as much faculty-student interaction
Finally, the residence/SAAC-related construction is not the only work
going on at Clairmont Campus; before the end of August, a new child-care
center and autism center will break ground, according to Vicki West, project
manager for both buildings. The child-care center will be located along
Starvine Way between the Clairmont Campus Parking Deck (the Garage
Mahal, as Schill said the contractors have taken to calling it)
and the Lullwater shuttle road, and the autism center will be sited in
the north section of the acreage, near the existing Mason Guest House
and Hope Lodge.
Both facilities will be completed in time for summer 2002, West said.
She said the child-care centera sister facility to one
being built on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention campuswill
be able to accommodate some 216 children and will be built along the Italian
Reggio Emilia school of thought.
It basically considers the childrens spatial environment
a third teacher, along with the actual teacher and the parent,
West said. The concept uses architectural features such as shadow lines
and interior windows to aid in a childs development; a toddler may
be crawling along and come upon a mirror embedded in the floor, West said,
helping the child learn and deal with self-recognition.
Its a really cool idea to help children become aware of their surroundings and learning from them, West said.