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Last modified: Thursday, January 31, 2008

IU trustees approve site plan for new student housing

Jan. 31, 2008

RICHMOND, Ind. -- A multi-stage plan to upgrade student housing at Indiana University Bloomington moved forward with IU trustees' approval today (Jan. 31) of the site plan for construction of the 803-bed Ashton student housing complex.

Located west of Union Street and between Seventh and 10th streets, the complex will provide apartment-style units comparable to popular off-campus student housing in Bloomington. Construction will start in late summer 2008, and the units will be ready to occupy in the fall of 2010.

Ashton Housing

Architectural rendering by RATIO Architects

IU President Michael A. McRobbie identified improved student housing as a priority in his October 2007 Inaugural Address. With students having more options in pursuing higher education, he said, the quality of the living environment is a crucial element in the choices they make.

The Ashton complex will include seven buildings constructed around courtyards on a 13-acre site. The total size of the project is estimated at 400,000 gross square feet. The IU Board of Trustees approved the site plan during its regular meeting at IU East in Richmond.

Housing buildings will be four stories tall, and there also will be a five-story commons building that anchors the development and provides programming and classroom space. A majority of units will be four-bedroom suites, each with its own kitchen, common area and two bathrooms.

The buildings will be designed with split-face Indiana ashlar limestone to reflect the collegiate Gothic style that defines the IU campus. Most trees on the site will be preserved, and a creek that crosses the property will be accommodated in the design.

The project kicks off a five-year plan for upgrading IU Bloomington student housing. Presented to the board of trustees in December, the plan also calls for renovating Briscoe and Forest residence halls and converting their 2,080 traditional beds to suites with about 1,200 beds. The Ashton project will offset the eventual loss of beds at Briscoe and Forest.

The Ashton project will be financed with university bonds that will be repaid with revenue from student housing fees. The architectural firm for the project is RATIO Architects of Indianapolis.