North Campus construction commences in spring

New residence hall to be called North Hall will be built to foster more of a community atmosphere.



| Tomber Su/THE CHIMES

Jared Hardy, Writer

As the construction for the new parking structure continues, plans to break ground for North Hall continues to brew. | Tomber Su/THE CHIMES

Construction of a new residence hall is scheduled to commence in April 2014. The new dormitory will be built in place of Lot J, Sigma’s current parking lot. It will be called North Hall, due its location as the northernmost dorm on campus, said construction manager Jody Spicer.

Fostering campus community

North Hall is being created to bring more of a community atmosphere to the north dorms on campus such as Sigma and Alpha, said project manager Chris Cain. Its features were created with the idea of community in mind. These features include porches and decks on each floor, a large courtyard between North Hall and Sigma, a diner similar to The Talon or Eagle’s Nest and a basketball court.

The new dorm serves a more logistical purpose in addition to fostering a community among the upper campus halls.
“It’s to separate some of the triples on campus, make it not so crowded. There’s always a need for students to live on campus,” Spicer said.

The dorm is going to be a coed, but separated in a way much like Horton, where certain wings of each floor are designated for men or women only. There are plans to have lounges on every floor of the building to add to the sense of the community within the dormitory.

From one project to the next

North Hall’s construction will follow the completion of the parking structure behind Alpha, due to the need for parking after Lot J closes.

The construction aspect of the dorm will be unique. Sections of the wall will be assembled off campus during the time that the parking lot is being renovated into the foundation and base for the building. When the time comes, the wall sections will simply be moved over to the campus and placed. This will save time and money on the project.

There are a few potential complications with the project, some of which are within the school, others within the county. One immediate problem is the noise that is part of construction. The dorm will be built only a few dozen meters away from Sigma, which means that there will be constant noise from the project droning on throughout the days. The only solution for this will be a 10 foot high sound barrier to be constructed between the building site and Sigma.

“It won’t get rid of all the noise, but it will help,” Chris explained.
Another potential issue with the project is the involvement of the city government. The county requires any trees that are removed to be inspected and approved by an ornithologist to verify that no species of birds will be disturbed by the construction during their nesting season. This nesting season begins in January and ends in March or April. This could cause nearly three months of delay for the project due to the city requiring the construction to wait until the birds had cleared their nests.

Student tuition, fees fund dorm

The estimated total budget of the project is $20 million total, Spicer said. $15 million of that budget is going to construction alone, while the remainder is going into “soft costs” such as furnishings, design and engineering. The funds for the project are from a part of Biola’s budget that is made up of tuition costs for students, books and fines collected.

“We’re continually trying to cut costs where we can, without impacting the final product,” Cain said. 

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