Randy Alexander, Residence, (515) 294-5636
Steve Sullivan, News Service, (515) 294-3720


AMES, Iowa -- Hawthorn Court, the next phase in the Iowa State University department of residence’s Master Plan, will open this fall ahead of schedule.

Residence officials were expecting nine buildings in the new student apartment complex to be finished by the opening of the school year. Instead, 12 buildings will open. Hawthorn’s remaining 11 buildings and community center are scheduled to be ready by fall 2001.

With 12 buildings opening, Hawthorn Court will accommodate 1,008 students -- primarily juniors and seniors.

Hawthorn Court is proving as popular a living area as the recently remodeled Maple Hall was last year. Residence officials were projecting 684 students would be signed up by fall. That projection already has been exceeded by more than 100 students. Many students applied for Hawthorn Court rooms without even seeing the accommodations. Students who have viewed display rooms are signing contracts immediately, said Randy Alexander, director of residence. Residence has signed up 90 students who had lived off-campus last year.

"Having off-campus students move back on campus is unusual, and clearly Hawthorn Court is the draw," Alexander said.

Hawthorn Court features four-person, furnished apartments, some configured with two-person bedrooms and some with four single bedrooms. Each apartment comes with a kitchen area, washer and dryer. Each student will have his or her own connection for phone, cable and ethernet. Each building has an apartment designed for handicapped accessibility. The rates are $340 a month for a double, and $370 a month for a single. The rates include all the mentioned amenities, as well as utilities.

Hawthorn’s 12 buildings are in groups of three, which create smaller neighborhoods within a larger area, Alexander said. Older trees in the construction area were preserved and incorporated into Hawthorn Court's vast green spaces. (The east side of the community center will face a green space the length of two football fields.)

Hawthorn Court is the flip side of Maple Hall, which is intended primarily for freshman students. Maple is an alcohol- and substance-free residence hall, and residents are expected to participate in campus organizations, community service or personal development projects. There are visitation rules. There also is a community adviser and academic adviser assigned to each floor.

In Hawthorne Court, the regulations are more relaxed. Students who are drinking age can have alcohol in their rooms. There are no visitation rules, though the buildings do use security card entrance systems. In Maple, the staff to student ratio is 1:27. In Hawthorn, it's 1:250.

"Hawthorn Court is designed for more mature students who don't need the structure that freshmen tend to need," Alexander said.

Next up on the Master Plan is work on Union Drive, which has been given the green light by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. The north end "L" of Helser Hall will be demolished by the end of the year, and construction will begin on a suite-style residence hall and community center. The community center will feature dining facilities, classroom and meeting areas.

This also will be the last year for at least one of the aging Towers Residence halls. Either Knapp or Storms will be demolished or mothballed next summer, Alexander said. This aspect of the Master Plan also has received board approval.


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