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Sense of Place

Boise State University builds Honors College and Sawtooth Hall

University Business, January 2018
  • THE CENTER OF IT ALL—The new facility at Boise State is not only located at the center of campus but lies directly across from the Student Union. Students enrolled in the Honors College benefit from small classroom sizes of 25 or fewer attendees and participate in meetings with business leaders, ambassadors and world-renowned speakers.
  • THE CENTER OF IT ALL—The new facility at Boise State is not only located at the center of campus but lies directly across from the Student Union. Students enrolled in the Honors College benefit from small classroom sizes of 25 or fewer attendees and participate in meetings with business leaders, ambassadors and world-renowned speakers.

A new 656-bed, five-story building offering Wi-Fi access and HD cable now stands near the center of Boise State’s campus in Idaho.

The 236,000-square-foot facility serves as a residence hall for first-year students and as a space for honor students—with classrooms, study lounges, honors department offices and dining facilities.

CHALLENGE: The university needed additional housing to meet its growing student population, but other construction projects had tied up available capital resources.

“We needed to find a nontraditional way to finance first-year housing,” says Kevin Satterlee, chief operating officer, vice president and special counsel at Boise State. The location selected for the build is the center of campus, on grounds that didn’t offer any incentives for students to stay there.

SOLUTION: The university leased those grounds to the developer EdR, which funded the project. First-year students can now choose from 235 private and semiprivate, suite-style units for two or four occupants.

Honor students have access to apartment-style units with full kitchens. The Honors College portion of the building serves 750 students.

In addition, a la carte-style dining at SouthFork Market (10,994 square feet) provides breakfast, lunch and dinner on the first floor of the facility. Another option for hungry students is to purchase items at an in-hall convenience store.

“Putting that many residences in the center of campus has really given the area a whole different feel,” says Satterlee. “We now see more of a student presence at all hours.”

COMPLETED: August 2017

COST: $42.8 million

PROJECT TEAM: Partner and project manager: EdR (Memphis); architect: Ayers Saint Gross (Baltimore); contractor: Rimrock Construction (Draper, UT)