New on-campus residence hall to accommodate student growth

The Suites aglow

Northern Arizona University and American Campus Communities are teaming up again to construct a new residence hall on the Flagstaff campus to accommodate increased demands for on-campus housing.

The new hall, approved Thursday by the Arizona Board of Regents, will be an expansion of the Hilltop Townhomes featuring six buildings and its own four-story parking structure with about 700 spaces. The apartment-style housing will accommodate approximately 620 sophomores, juniors and seniors and will feature the same amenities. The project is still pending favorable review by the state Legislature’s Joint Committee on Capital Review on June 18.

“The growth of our enrollment now justifies the construction of another on-campus residence hall,” NAU President Rita Cheng said. “We have successfully partnered with American Campus Communities in the past, and it makes good business sense to do so again.”

The hall will be located along Runke Drive between Knoles Drive and San Francisco Street. The project will impact parking lots in the area. American Campus Communities assumes responsibility for the estimated cost of $55 million with NAU receiving annual ground lease payments.

NAU and ACC are working with Flagstaff Dark Skies Coalition to ensure the new buildings will not interfere with visibility at the Atmospheric Research Observatory on central campus.

The new construction is in response to student growth and university needs. In fall 2014, NAU enrolled 20,134 full-time undergraduate and graduate students on the Flagstaff campus. The Arizona Board of Regents has set an enrollment goal of 25,000 on the Flagstaff campus by 2020.

ACC currently operates 1,454 beds on NAU’s campus. This project will result in a total of more than 2,000 privatized beds on the Flagstaff campus out of a total 9,734 beds.