Centennial Village to provide modern on-campus living for future freshmen

The Centennial Housing Village is set to completely replace the Hecht and Stanford dorms by 2025. Photo courtesy UM Communications
The Centennial Housing Village is set to replace the Hecht and Stanford dorms
The Centennial Housing Village is set to completely replace the Hecht and Stanford dorms by 2025. Photo courtesy UM Communications

The Stanford and Hecht Residential Colleges have been home to generations of University of Miami students since 1968. Soon, the towers will be torn down to make way for a transformative new era of on-campus housing.

Centennial Village is expected to open in 2025, a tribute to UM’s 100th anniversary from its foundation in 1925. The total project cost is estimated at $260 million, and construction will begin in the Summer of 2020. Four new residential towers will stand in place of the Stanford and Hecht buildings by the completion of the project.

Construction will begin with Stanford Residential College, the replacement of which will open in 2022. Work on the Hecht tower will follow and the second stage of this multi-layered plan will become available to students in 2024. Eaton Residential College is also included in the plans for renovation and is expected to have an entirely new interior by 2025.

The 552,000 square foot complex will present UM’s new approach to comfort living to 1,728 freshmen. Various innovative features are aimed at offering residents a living and learning environment that enriches their on-campus experience.

In addition to double rooms and an increased amount of single rooms, the new residential colleges will feature private bathrooms, kitchenettes, resident lounges, a learning hub, classrooms, a meditation room, indoor and outdoor spaces and a recreational gaming room, all along the edge of Lake Osceola.

Freshman Matthew Morrison said he believes that such a level of comfort could place a limit on a student’s ability to adjust to college life.

“It’ll be so much easier for [first-year students] to be separated from others because everything will be so comfortable that they won’t want to leave their dorms,” Morrison said.

These planned amenities emphasize UM’s goal of providing an enhanced living and academic experience to its students, according to Patricia Whitely, vice president of student affairs. Whitely said this effort is parallel to the mission behind the Student Housing Village that is currently under construction.

Sterling Corum, a sophomore resident assistant in Stanford Residential College, said she’s excited about the new housing project.

“I think it’s nice to have a more central housing location that has more amenities,” Corum said. “I think it is a really interesting project.”

Jim Smart, executive director for Housing and Residential Life, told News at the U that the village will “provide students with a blend of individual, group, and community-wide spaces to aid in their transition into University life.”

The Centennial Village is also a part of UM’s green initiative. The project aims to create sustainable structures through state-of-the-art building systems and durable materials. In accordance with the University’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and protecting the environment, the village aims to attain a LEED Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

UM contracted Virginia-based VMDO Architects and Zyscovich Architects to blueprint the project, while Grycon LLC is involved in pre-construction services.