This spring, the Colorado School of Mines will start 15 months of construction on a new dining hall for at least 500 people as well as a new residence hall for roughly 200 students. The construction, currently dubbed Elm Hall, is part of the campus master plan which aims to create a residential campus. This includes providing housing and facilities for the entire freshman and sophomore class on campus some years down the road.
The new building will be built in the current B parking lot, between Elm, 18th and Maple Street, across the street from the new health center. Parking in this lot will be closed starting April 15. The first steps of the project will require removing pavement and relocating fiber which sends communications throughout the school.
Slate Café is designed currently for roughly 320 people, although it routinely serves over 600 people per meal. The new dining hall is expected to seat 500 people. The concept for the new dining hall is “micro-restaurant.” The goal is to have a greater variety of foods and to have food prepared more openly. Having food stations to cook food in front of students allows for fresher food and requires less kitchen space, therefore for more seating. Some ideas currently include a brick fired oven for a pizza and pasta station. Additionally, there would be an international station, salad bar, deli, classics, a grille, and desserts. The new space would also likely have a patio for outside seats and a private room that groups would be able to reserve.
An important goal of the new residence hall is to house among other students about 85 freshmen who typically live in Mines park, as well as help relieve the overflow of students in the traditionals. When the new residence hall comes online, Mines Park will go back to being available to upperclassmen only.
Student rooms will be located in the top three levels of the building. The new hall is being built with the thoughts of students in mind. Surveys have shown that students prefer the community of the traditionals, and the amenities of Weaver. As such, the new hall will have a layout similar to the traditionals, but will have more amenities. These include two common rooms, laundry, kitchen and multiple small bathrooms, per floor. The designs are attempting to create a “neighborhood community feel” by placing community rooms in locations that most students will have to pass in order to reach exits, so that students can have more interaction. Additionally, each level will have two RAs who will each lead their individual communities. The floor layout could allow for coed or single sex levels, although that decision has yet to be made.
An additional goal of the new building is to create more common areas and office spaces. These areas would encourage socialization and studying. This would also be the new home to the blaster card, housing, and dining office. Housing these offices in one place would allow students to solve their problems all in one place.
Once the new residence and dining hall is complete, renovations will occur in the Student Center. These changes include updating Slate Café, and expanding the bookstore, as well as changing the overall floor plan.