A new residence hall on North Central College’s Naperville campus offers a dynamic, modern housing option for students.
As students moved into their digs on Sept. 11, they described New Hall as “grown up and mature … really roomy … spacious everywhere you look” with “fancy furnishings and fancy materials … beautiful views.” Located at 451 S. Brainard St., between Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium and the Ward Residence Hall, the five-story hall for 229 students offers suite-style housing for upperclass students.
The suites feature either single- or double-occupancy bedrooms, bathrooms and common living spaces with a kitchenette. In addition to bedroom furniture, the suites come furnished with varying combinations of couches, loveseats, chairs, coffee tables, side tables and televisions in the common areas. With 2,006 pieces of new furniture, this is the first residence hall on North Central’s campus to be fully furnished.
“There’s room to spread out and use the space in various ways that suit us,” says Jacob Perry ’17. “You can study or sleep in one room, hang out and eat in another.”
Perry and his three suite-mates have wanted to share a suite since freshman year. They had good housing options to choose from this year, but their two-bedroom, two-bath suite in New Hall feels “mature” and like a real apartment to them. Anthony Ashner ’17 likes the huge TV that was provided and the hall’s location. “It’s close to everything, making it easy to walk to classes and my campus job, and the dining hall is right across the street,” he says.
Rachel Maher ’16 chose a single suite. “It has lots more cabinet space in the kitchen than I thought there’d be, and the bathroom is so spacious,” she says. “I have a beautiful view outside my bedroom window of trees. It’s great!”
With a new residence hall comes the opportunity to establish a new student community. Sarah Koukal, director of residence life, explains that common lounge spaces are included on every floor of the building to help bring students together outside their private living spaces. A large meeting space on the first floor and a quad-like area outside the north entrance are also available to the entire campus community.
Experienced staff were chosen to foster a positive sense of community in New Hall. Andrew Zobac ’12/M ’14 is area hall director and the five resident assistants are Kori Sye ’16, Jack Ryan ’16, D.J. Wohead ’18, Kelsey Hayen ’17 and Dru Rozewick ’17.
In a recent address to the campus community, President Troy Hammond explained, “The 229 beds in New Hall became a critical first step to the process of right-sizing our academic facilities with the Science Center. In addition to upgrading our residence hall options, we replaced the beds lost in Student Village and Peter and Paul residence halls with an overall net growth of 130. We can now offer more attractive housing options to keep our upperclass students on campus and engaged in residence life. The benefit cascades to our sophomores and juniors who will also see an upgrade in their housing options.”
New Hall is the first new residence hall at North Central College since the Residence Hall/Recreation Center opened in 2009. The lower level of the 101,101-square-foot building is home to Campus Safety and Residence Life staff, placing them close to the needs of students.
Here's a timelapse video of the construction of New Hall, start to finish: