University of Miami aims to build $155-million residential college

Arquitectonica's rendering of the proposed housing.
Arquitectonica’s rendering of the proposed housing.

Cranes, excavators and a lot of drilling could be coming to the University of Miami if plans for proposed construction of a new $155-million residential college is approved by the City of Coral Gables.

UM submitted plans to the city for a new living complex, to be built on what are now parking lots between Lake Osceola and Stanford Drive, in an effort to expand the amount of undergraduate students living on campus.

Upon its completion, the unit will house over 1,100 undergraduates. As of fall 2016, 4,048 of the school’s 10,615 undergraduate students live on-campus, according to the university’s website.

According to a letter of intent submitted to the Development Review Committee by the university, UM aims to “convert over 1,104 commuter students into residents.” According to the documents, the increase in the amount of students living on campus will greatly reduce traffic during peak hours in the morning and evening as students will be able to walk or bike to classes and activities on campus.

With the addition of the new dormitories, parking spots in the surrounding areas of the University Center and Eaton Residential College on campus will be eliminated but replaced by the addition of 60 parking lifts in Pavia Garage.

The 8.6-acre project will be composed of 23 clusters of interconnected buildings, creating a landscape for a courtyard and lawn facing Lake Osceola, according to the letter of intent. Designed by the Miami-based architectural corporation Arquitectonica, each building will have five levels of dorm-style living spaces for students which include study lounges, outdoor recreational decks and roof gardens on the second level of the structures. Designed to provide a “hub for student life and campus-based activity,” the compound will encompass a learning center, Launch Pad for start-up student businesses, 200-seat auditorium, bike shop and recreation room.

According to the Senior Vice President for University Advancement and External Affairs Sergio Gonzalez, the new project provides an opportunity for those looking connect with UM.

“The University’s innovative residential housing project is an exciting and major addition to our Coral Gables campus. This is also an occasion for our alumni and friends of the University to be part of the tremendous endeavor through donor and naming opportunities. A culture of philanthropy resonates through the University of Miami community, and we look forward to providing opportunities to all those who want to become involved,” Gonzalez said in a statement.

This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

Correction, Jan. 31, 2017: The article previously stated the cost to construct the new housing complex would be $100 million, the amount proposed in the Development Review Committee Application submitted by the university to the City of Coral Gables. However, according to Marketing Specialist at UM’s Department of Housing and Residential Life Mike Piacentino, the university will spend $155 million on the new village. The story has been corrected to reflect this information.