University plans transition from four residence halls to Campus North in 2016

Mary Abowd
News Officer for Arts & HumanitiesUniversity Communications

As part of a long-term effort to strengthen the College housing experience for all undergraduate students, the University of Chicago has announced that Blackstone, Breckinridge, Broadview and Maclean residence halls will no longer house College students after June 2016.

The change will coincide with the opening in fall 2016 of Campus North Residence Hall and Dining Commons, which was designed by the renowned Chicago firm Studio Gang and will house roughly 800 undergraduates. The transition is in keeping with the University’s goal to house more College students on the central campus and to strengthen the Resident Master model, which fosters meaningful interactions between students and senior faculty members outside the classroom.

Dean of the College John W. Boyer and Karen Warren Coleman, Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services, notified affected students in an email on April 20.

“This is an exciting time for College Housing,” they wrote, noting that the change will “expand and strengthen the residential experience for current and future students.”

A primary reason for the change is that the four affected residence halls cannot accommodate Resident Masters. In the Resident Masters tradition, which began in the early 1970s and has become a model for other colleges, senior faculty members reside among students, reinforcing the College’s intellectual values and building community. The move to Campus North ensures that many more students will experience this signature aspect of College residential life.

This transition also is in keeping with the University’s long-term strategy for College Housing, which includes strengthening the Resident Master model and housing more College students closer to campus.

The University will create eight new residential houses within Campus North. Students from the affected residence halls will have the opportunity to move to Campus North as a community. Six house names in the affected residence halls will be retired in spring 2016 along with three house names from the New Graduate Residence Hall, also known as New Grad. The University previously announced an adaptive reuse project for that building, which will be named the Keller Center as the new home of the Harris School of Public Policy.

Because the buildings will continue to operate as residence halls through the 2015-16 academic year, this announcement will not have an impact on the upcoming College Housing lottery.

Students who have questions or concerns about these changes may refer to the FAQs found on the College Housing website