Scripps Receives $10 Million to Build Residence Hall

Scripps College will have a tenth residence hall as early as August
2016, thanks in part to an anonymous naming gift of $10 million announced Oct. 11 by college president Lori Bettison-Varga. The hall is expected to be built along Platt Boulevard, in place of the
maintenance department building, which will be relocated to the basement of the
Lang Art Studios. 

To accommodate enrollment fluctuations, many
Scripps single-occupancy residence hall rooms have been converted into doubles,
and doubles into triples, leading to overcrowded living situations. Ninety-five
Scripps students are living in off-campus housing this year due to limited
on-campus residence options, according to Vice President for Student
Affairs and Dean of Students Charlotte Johnson. 

“We have been discussing the possibility of a new
residence hall for several years and in the last year moved ahead with a specific
proposal and design,” she wrote in an email to TSL. “Our
consistently strong enrollment numbers have punctuated the need for an
additional student residential facility.” 

Board of Trustees Student Representative Kristiana
Kim SC ’16 wrote in an email to TSL that the housing
crunch is “less than ideal since Scripps wants everyone to have
access to a close res-life community.”

“In some ways, the housing crunch can be seen
in a positive light because it’s the result of more students choosing to attend
Scripps than Admissions projected,” she added. “Expansion of
on-campus housing capacity will allow Scripps to slightly increase enrollment
and respond to the increasing demand for its education.”

A final design for the hall, referred to as “NEW Hall” until a permanent name is identified, is expected this
winter, according to Scripps Treasurer and Vice President for Business Affairs
Donna Ng. 

In an email to TSL, Ng wrote that the
estimated construction time will be 14 to 18 months, beginning in the spring of
2015 and ending in time for school to begin in August 2016. 

The residence hall will cost approximately $20
million, according to a college press release. The college will continue to
raise funds for the residence hall as part of the More Campaign for Scripps
College, which has raised a total of $103 million toward a goal of $175 million
by 2018. 

Ng wrote that the final design will incorporate “energy efficient equipment” and that the college will discuss Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards.  

According to the press release, the building will be an eco-friendly, “Mediterranean style” living space with courtyards, rec rooms, a computer room and a kitchen to accommodate 100 students.  

Maddie Glouner SC ’17 spoke favorably of the planned hall but also expressed concerns about the project. 

“A new residence hall would be great because
of our issues with over-enrollment and limited housing spaces for students,” Glouner said. “But the construction would kind of hurt the
peaceful aesthetic Scripps embodies while new dorms were being built.” 

Additionally, she said, “I think it may not be the right time to take
such a large allocation of funds and put it towards a dorm rather than other
things the school could benefit from, such as Keck [the intercollegiate science
department], and getting more distinguished speakers for events.”

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