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Kate Bruns, Department of Residence, (515) 294-5637
Annette Hacker, News Service, (515) 294-3720
Randy Alexander, Department of Residence, (515) 294-5636

Department of Residence Announces Early Closure of Knapp Hall

The Department of Residence at Iowa State University is recommending accelerating the timeline for closing Knapp Hall, one of four residence halls that make up the Towers neighborhood. The revised schedule calls for closing Knapp Hall at the beginning of spring semester 2004 rather than at the end of the semester. This recommendation requires approval by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

According to the department master plan, Knapp will be demolished in summer 2005. Storms Hall, an identical building adjacent to Knapp Hall, was closed at the end of spring semester 2003 and is slated for demolition in Summer 2004.

Department of Residence Director Randy Alexander estimates that closing Knapp Hall for the spring semester will save approximately $200,000 for the department and will result in more efficient use of other residence halls. Knapp Hall has the lowest occupancy in the residence system for 2003-2004.

"The number of contracts will be down this fall, creating a budget shortfall for the department," Alexander said. "Closing Knapp Hall earlier than originally planned and relocating the students will help us address that shortfall. "We are taking steps to offer alternative accommodations that satisfy students' needs and keep them with their roommates."

The department is contacting many returning Knapp Hall residents to offer them alternative accommodations at the beginning of fall semester. They may relocate now if space is available, or select an available space through the online room assignment program, Step Inside, available on, throughout the semester. Although currently there is not sufficient space in the residence system to accommodate relocation of all Knapp residents prior to the beginning of the fall semester, normal attrition will allow all room changes to be completed by the start of spring semester.

Knapp is a lower-priced residence hall, but students moving from there to other residence halls will be charged the same lower rate.

While experiencing a shortage of space for men, the department has significant unused space for women. To address this imbalance, the department will change Freeman Hall from an all-female residence hall to all male. Residents of Freeman Hall will be moved in groups to Oak-Elm Hall, a similar all-female hall located adjacent to Freeman Hall in the Richardson Court neighborhood.

Roommate assignments will not be affected by this change. In addition, students who contracted for single rooms in Freeman and Knapp halls will be assigned to single rooms or doubles used as single rooms in their new locations at the lower single room rate.

Knapp Hall, constructed in 1966, has a capacity of 580 residents. Knapp and Storms Halls, which have significant deferred maintenance, are slated for demolition in the Department of Residence master plan. Wallace and Wilson Halls are the other two halls that make up the Towers neighborhood. The current master plan does not call for the demolition of these buildings. The Department of Residence master plan, approved in 1996, calls for the creation of residence neighborhoods to meet the needs of a variety of residents, including first-year students, upper-division single students, and student families.

With a total capacity of more than 8,000, the Iowa State University residence system houses a significant portion of the university student population. Recent master plan projects designed to expand and diversify the residence system have included the construction of Frederiksen Court apartments for upper-division single students, the renovation of Maple Hall for first-year students, the renovation of Wallace and Wilson Halls for upper-division single students, and the construction of the Eaton Hall suite-style residence hall for first-year students. Frederiksen Court, Wallace-Wilson, Maple Hall, and Eaton Hall are all at or near 100 percent capacity for 2003-2004.


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