With the completion of the Gerald Ratner Athletic Center and the new Graduate School of Business building, the next major step in the future of the University is set: A new 900-resident dorm at 61st Street and South Ellis Avenue. In its effort to increase both the size of the College and the University's presence south of the Midway, the Administration must be wary of past oversights and work to create a building that will positively impact the lives of students.
There are two major issues that must be thoroughly considered before breaking ground: the new dorm's design and features, and its compatibility with neighboring Burton-Judson. Taking into account the controversial aesthetics of Max Palevsky, a plan must ensure that the new dorm fits well into the architecture of our campus. The University must also address concerns of durabilitythe new dorm should be made to last for decades without needing extensive work post-construction.
The second major issue to be addressed is that of dining facilities. The current idea is to have the new dorm use B-J's cafeteria, but such a plan has to be thought through to avoid overcrowding a facility already struggling with age and past infestations.
While students come to Chicago for the academics, the dorm a student lives in will color the rest of their college career. With this in mind, the University should work with students to create a building that will be successful in the minds of students, administrators, and the rest of the community.