JU's North Hall part of plan to revitalize Arlington

Published August 21, 2015 in Neighborhoods - MetroJacksonville.com

Rendering of North Hall

Starting this week, first-year freshmen at Jacksonville University (JU) moving in are not just getting many new campus upgrades, they are getting a unique, innovative new design in student resident life: Today, the recently completed 274-bed, 70,000-square-foot North Hall opens its doors for the first time. The residency is the result of visits to six different universities, extensive focus groups and discussions with students to make sure it meets the needs of today’s active, engaged, connected and mobile student. Students, RAs and Residence Life staff members will be available for interviews, with media access to select rooms and common areas.

Home to more than 4,000 students JU, which has been named one of “America’s Best Colleges” for 11 straight years, has undergone a major transition in the past several years to give its students the best educational experience possible at its 250-acre riverfront campus just minutes from downtown Jacksonville. One of the most outstanding examples of this is the three-wing North Hall, conceived, designed and built with the idea of community development for students, both socially and academically.

The $12 million North Hall, completed by Rimrock Devlin Development, is the first new housing construction for JU in many years and is part of the school’s redevelopment of old Arlington in conjunction with the City of Jacksonville.

“Jacksonville University believes in Arlington and we are investing right now in support of this region,” said Tim Cost, president of Jacksonville University in an interview with the school's paper, The Wave earlier this year.
The project symbolizes a new era for campus life and is part of a larger push to create additional attractive amenities for students, according to JU President Tim Cost. It was designed and built using the best new practices in student housing, including collaborative living space and modern amenities.

North Hall consists of student residences along with space for games and activities, laundry facilities, offices, classrooms, study areas and a multi-purpose room. The upper floors include additional living space and study lounges; all floors have a kitchenette. High-tech amenities include fiber-optic communications, CAT-6 wiring and cell phone range extenders.

Classroom, study and community spaces dot each floor. The spirit of JU and Jacksonville is woven throughout the building, with specially commissioned artwork. The student-to-RA ratio of about 25-to-1 is half that of typical residence halls, to provide more of the personalized attention that is a hallmark of a private university. RAs have been specially trained to mentor first-year students and develop community through intentional programming.

The building is the latest addition to upgrades at the University, which include the recent acquisition of 40 acres of riverfront property immediately south of the JU campus, new campus dining options, a new football/lacrosse stadium, improved academic spaces and research laboratories, the new Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences building, a completely revitalized Nelms Plaza collaborative outdoor study area, and a $1.5 million expansion of the River House student center.

Site plan of North Hall

Eventually, the new North Hall will be joined by a mix of uses, including 175,000 square-feet of commercial space, intended to facilitate JU's growth and revitalize Arlington.

For more information, contact Phillip J. Milano, JU Director of News and Publications at pmilano@ju.edu

Images courtesy of Jacksonville University and The Wave.

This article can be found at: https://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2015-aug-jus-north-hall-part-of-plan-to-revitalize-arlington

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