Have you walked or driven around the Boise State campus recently? If not, it’s worth taking a quick zip through considering how much construction is going on. It seems that each time I visit campus, a new wall has been placed, dirt has moved, or another site has been cleared for new development.
Get ready for more cranes, trucks and other equipment moving on to campus, now that construction has officially kicked off on new student housing along Lincoln Avenue. A chilly groundbreaking ceremony for the school’s latest venture took place Feb. 1.
As we first reported in December, Boise general contractor ESI Construction was awarded a bid to build six townhouse-style buildings between University Drive and Beacon Street that will house upperclassmen. Oz Architects of Denver is the architect.
With room for 360 students, the 135,000-square-foot wood-framed, brick and stucco structure will cost $15.8 million, and be funded through a combination of bonds and university and student housing reserves, which will allow BSU to be repaid through student housing revenues.
However, why these new townhouses are so necessary, is because demand for on campus housing has actually doubled since 2004. In fact, to accommodate staggering growth, the university is leasing space in motels near campus for students. Basically, this project can’t happen fast enough!
Stacey Pearson, BSU vice president of Finance and Administration, called the housing project a “really thrilling moment.”
BSU President Dr. Bob Kustra said the townhouses would offer more opportunities for students on campus.
“The learning and living experience is going to be significantly enriched,” he said.
From my perspective, I think this is just another indication that BSU’s campus is evolving at a dizzying pace. Besides that, the university is creating a mini construction boom, which is creating jobs and injecting some serious buzz into Idaho’s construction industry.
With work expected to wrap up in 2012, and student growth not expected to drop off anytime soon, it’s only a matter of time before campus planners announce their next big move…to which Idaho’s construction industry says “thank you.”