November 12, 2018

Stony Island to Close After 2019—2020

Stony Island dormitory.

Alexandra Nisenoff / The Chicago Maroon

Stony Island Hall, the farthest dorm from campus, will no longer house students after the 2019–20 school year. The dorm’s closure coincides with the opening of a new megadorm slated to open in September 2020.

Located about a mile from the quad at the intersection of East 57th Street and South Stony Island Avenue, Stony comprises 21 two-bedroom apartments.

After announcing the changes to current residents at a Sunday night house meeting, Housing and Residence Life sent a follow-up e-mail on Monday noting that student housing in Vue53, an apartment building on 53rd Street, will also be retired after next school year. The University rented student housing space in Vue53 at the beginning of the last academic year after an unexpectedly high yield caused the number of students in housing to exceed capacity.

Stony’s closure is the latest in a series of major developments to undergraduate student population and housing. The past decade has seen the shuttering of smaller, “satellite” dorms as the University has moved to consolidate student housing closer to campus.

The newest development is the Woodlawn Residential and Dining Commons, a 1,200-bed dorm currently being constructed at East 61st Street and South University Avenue. In addition to absorbing the population from Stony and Vue53, Woodlawn Commons is expected to house the increased number of undergraduates the College plans to enroll in coming years. Dean Boyer discussed the planned population increase in recent minutes obtained from the Maroon Key Society.

Law School professor Craig Futterman and his wife Kenyatta Tatum Futterman, youth program coordinator in the Office of Risk Management, have served as Resident Deans for Stony Island since 2016.

“We are sad that Stony will be closing in a couple of years, because we are proud of all that it has become,” Craig Futterman said in a statement to The Maroon. “In our just few years as Resident Deans, we have seen what a special place Stony is. As a small, close-knit community, Stony has become a home away from home for so many of our students. Kenyatta and I have seen students’ support of one another. We have experienced its cool and special culture. Most of all, we have experienced our students’ love for the Stony community.”

The full e-mail sent to residents from Sophia Chaknis, the executive director of Housing & Residence Life, and Richard J. Mason, Assistant Vice President for Campus Life, can be read below.

As part of our continuing efforts to expand and strengthen the residential experience for current and future College students, we are writing to share a development that will impact your current residence hall.

At your House yesterday evening, Housing & Residence Life shared that we will no longer house College students in Stony Island Hall after June 2020.  This decision, timed to coincide with the opening of Woodlawn Residential Commons and Dining Commons in fall 2020, is in keeping with the University’s strategy to strengthen the Resident Dean model and house more College students closer to campus.

While we are still working out the specifics of this transition, we can share a couple of important details.

First, students living in Stony Island who wish to remain in Housing & Residence Life spaces will have the opportunity to move as a community to a new House in Woodlawn Residential Commons. They may also choose to enter the Housing lottery to reside in a different location.

With the opening of Woodlawn Residential Commons, eleven new Houses will be created, and we will retire the Stony Island name in spring 2020. Vue53 will also be retired, and those residents will have the option to move as a community to Woodlawn Residential Commons.

We will work with current residents and staff to plan celebrations throughout the 2019–20 academic year to recognize these changes. We look forward to involving you in this process.

Finally, since Stony Island will continue to operate as an undergraduate residence hall through the 2019–20 academic year, this announcement will not have an impact on the Spring Quarter Housing lottery.

A University spokesperson did not respond to The Maroon’s request for comment by the time of publication.