Hilltopper Hall construction progresses

Rebekah Alvey

One of the construction projects that has simultaneously generated the most excitement and the most complaints among students is Hilltopper Hall.

The new hall is scheduled to open in time for the 2018 Fall semester and is located in the Valley. The project costs almost 28 million dollars and is one of the first steps in a 10-year housing master plan.

The inside of the building will have a similar setup to the Northeast and Southwest dorms with hotel style rooms but new construction. It is expected to house 410 students with six stories.

“The building is designed for interaction,” Brian Kuster, chief of student affairs, said.

Each floor will have a kitchen, enclosed study area and lounge as well as sitting areas at the end of the hallways, Kuster said. There will also be a 24-hour food area located in the lobby in addition to a laundry, theater and study room.

A unique addition to the hall is a maker space, which Kuster said is a room designed for larger art projects for school and organization use.

“I’m excited about having new options for our students,” Kuster said.

There has already been a significant amount of progress in the construction of the project. Kuster said the foundation work has begun and construct of the steel in the foundation will begin soon.

Kuster said a lot of things have also been happening behind the scenes. In the coming week, the project will be closing on financing.

While there is a lot of anticipation and positive reactions to the new hall, there have also been complaints among students. With construction happening in the valley where several dorms and students reside, the noise of construction has disturbed some students, Kuster said.

To compromise with students, the construction company has been asked to not begin loud work until 7 a.m. and be mindful of students. There will also be no construction during finals week.

A webcam has been set up to track the construction progress for Hilltopper Hall. The idea of webcams for projects has been around for years but is a new addition for this hall, Kuster said.

The hope is for students to keep up with the project and be aware. Kuster said he hopes it can cause students to be more understanding of the noise.

Housing and Resident Life is also working on a weekly blog to track the progress so students can stay involved and informed.

Reporter Rebekah Alvey can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected].