New Residence Hall Projected to Open Spring 2017

On Dec. 3, 2014, the Iowa State University Department of Residence was granted approval by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, to proceed with the building of a new residence hall east of Buchanan Hall. Construction began May 2015 and the building is projected to open for occupancy for the spring 2017 semester. The budget for this project is $49.5 million.

The new hall will include 784 beds. The building will sit east of the current Buchanan Hall and will have a similar set back as Buchanan so it sits on the site in a way that maintains green space in front of the buildings.

In planning the type of building best suited for residents, the Department of Residence gathered student input related to the building they wanted.

“This building design was fully informed by previous and current Inter-Residence Hall Association (IRHA) student leadership. Large student rooms, well-designed bathrooms and formal and informal gathering spaces for socializing and learning are all things our students helped us with in the design.” — Pete Englin, Department of Residence director

“Our Department of Residence recognizes they’re here to serve students and help them succeed, not just provide a space to live. This building provides the spaces for interaction among students, and that’s what makes the residence halls so special.” — Cole Staudt, Iowa State sophomore and IRHA Vice President (2014-15 academic year)

Based upon this input, plans for the building include:

  • A traditional residence hall that maintains the house system (a community of 40-55 students)
  • Large double-occupancy student rooms
  • Community bathrooms
    • Private lockable showers and toliet rooms
    • Community sinks
  • Open gathering areas that help to create community — students can easily see their fellow residents and have informal interaction
  • Large gathering area with kitchenette
  • Amenities that include a mail room, laundry room and study areas
  • Air conditioned
  • Apartments for live-in hall directors


Opus Design Build was selected for the project. 

“We are excited to contribute in such a significant way to the ISU campus. A residence hall is an important building that provides a home away from home and will be the center of most of the cherished memories in a student’s academic career. It is very energizing to be able to collaborate with the university and student stakeholders to complete such an important project on campus.” — Jeff Smith, regional director, Opus Design Build.

Check in on the new residence-hall construction project anytime with Facilities Planning and Management's live web camera: