Lake and River halls to bring more rooms, new amenities

Andrew Spencer, Staff Reporter

Lake and River Halls are preparing for students to move in after winter break. (Yazmine Parker)

Construction on Tulane University’s newest residence halls significantly progressed over the summer, as Tulane nears the end of Phase I of its comprehensive Housing Quad Redevelopment project.

Randy Philipson, vice president for facilities, campus development and real estate, said contractors were able to reach several milestones in the dorms’ construction over the summer, including the completion of exterior work. In the coming months, contractors will continue to complete mechanical systems, paint and install light fixtures in the new dorms.

This progress brings students living in Paterson Hall and Phelps and Irby Residence Halls closer to a unique, mid-year transition to new dorm rooms.

“Our plan is to make the transition from Paterson, Phelps and Irby as easy as possible for students,” Timothy Lempfert, director of housing and residence life, said.

Housing and Residence Life will provide the students who will be moving with boxes and tape to pack their rooms at the end of the fall semester. While students are away for winter break, these boxes will be moved to the new dorms in a process that Lempfert likened to the existing summer storage process. According to Lempfert, the dates for this moving process are unlikely to change. 

Phase II of the Housing Quad Redevelopment project will include the demolition and replacement of Paterson Hall and Phelps and Irby Residence Halls, though the timelines for these construction projects are under discussion, Philipson said. 

In addition to new dorms, Lake and River Halls will also host the Hub, a 14,000 square-foot social space on the first floor. This space will include numerous amenities, including gaming rooms, lounges and a 200-seat theater, that will be open to all on-campus students.

Dr. Brian Johnson, associate vice president of campus operations, said the Hub will also introduce two new “food concepts” to Tulane’s campus. 

This includes EAT NOW, a new convenience store for Tulane students.

“This new convenience market will be fully autonomous with no cash registers or checkout staff, similar to an Amazon Go store,” Johnson said.

According to Johnson, students will access EAT NOW by using the Everyday app, which is already in use by Tulane Dining Services.

In addition to EAT NOW, the will also host Shake Smart, a new healthy eating option offering protein shakes, bowls and sandwiches.

With 700 new beds, the residence halls will also aim to reduce some of the pressures of the off-campus housing market. 

“We believe that the on-campus housing experience is unmatched, and our residential communities offer students an amazing environment where they can live, learn and grow,” Lempfert said.

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