posttrib
PROPER 
Weather Updates

VU’s newest dorm built with eye on future

BeacHall Valparaiso University | Phoprovided

Beacon Hall at Valparaiso University | Photo provided

storyidforme: 70510072
tmspicid: 24891997
fileheaderid: 12499761
Article Extras
Story Image

Updated: September 20, 2014 6:03AM



VALPARAISO — The newest building at Valparaiso University offers retro styling but is designed to meet the future needs of the growing campus.

Beacon Hall will house 290 sophomores when students return to campus Saturday.

“We’re excited about this building — we really are. It’s the first significant residential building since the 1960s,” said Ryan Blevins, assistant dean of students in the Office of Residential Life during a tour Friday. “It does connect us to the heritage of the university, but it is a great investment to the future.”

The four-story dorm with suite-style housing is collegiate gothic in its architectural style, Blevins said, with steep roof peaks, red brick, and limestone around the windows.

Beacon was designed to look like Guild-Memorial Hall.

“Any future residential building we have would also have the collegiate gothic look,” Blevins said.

While he’s unsure of a timeline for additional dorms, Blevins said the university has seen tremendous growth the last five or six years with new and expanded buildings across campus.

The need for housing dedicated to sophomores, as well as growing enrollment that has had students living in dorm lounges until rooms opened up through attrition, helped drive the decision to build Beacon Hall.

“This year we’re in good shape,” Blevins said.

Beacon brings the total number of campus dorms to 10. The university also leases two buildings in the Uptown East apartment complex. In all, more than 2,000 of the university’s students live in residence halls, Blevins said.

Beacon Hall features a second-floor prayer room, which, unlike similar rooms in other residence halls, does not feature a cross.

“This is intentionally non-denominational,” Blevins said.

The focus of Beacon Hall is community. Student suites don’t have social spaces; those spaces are found throughout the residence hall, totaling more than 10,000 square feet, Blevins said.

Construction of the hall took 10 months. Made of pre-cast concrete, the walls were put together like Legos.

“Even though we had the most challenging winter, it really only put us off by two or three weeks,” Blevins said.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.