'Upscale' South Donahue dorms near completion in time for fall semester
Just in time for the fall semester, Auburn University is nearing completion of its newest on campus living facilities.
The completion of the South Donahue residence halls is on schedule and should be ready for occupation by the end of July.
"In terms of style, it is similar to the Village residence halls, but better," said Kim Trupp, director of housing for Auburn University. "It will have upscale amenities and also a premium price."
Each South Donahue unit will include 42-inch, flat screen TVs in the living area, a washer and dryer, quartz countertop kitchenettes and queen-sized beds.
"Most of the units have two bedrooms and two bathrooms, whereas most of the units in the Village are four bedrooms and two bathrooms," Trupp said. "So you will have your own bedroom and bathroom in the South Donahue dorms."
The location of the new residence hall will also make it possible for students to support the Auburn baseball team from the comfort of their own dorm.
"If your room is facing Plainsman Park, you'll be able to watch baseball. From the second floor until the sixth you can see into Plainsman Park," Trupp said.
The new dorms will be $900 more a semester than the units of the Village, but Trupp expects that the luxury of the South Donahue dorms will prove worthwhile.
"Once students live there, I think there'll be a really high demand," Trupp said.
Ben Chapman, a construction project manager with Auburn University, says that although some delays occurred during construction, their overall effect was minimal.
"Many projects have unforeseen delays and setbacks at times and the South Donahue Residence Hall is no exception. We included provisions within our construction contracts to help overcome potential delays," Chapman said.
While construction on the South Donahue residence hall has been relatively seamless, some concerns have been raised over the size and visibility of a traffic table built for residents of the new dorms.
Many Auburn students and residents have complained that the steepness of the traffic table is causing their vehicle to bottom out and, in some instances, inflicting damage to the bottom of their vehicle.
Chapman says that the traffic table is larger than most on campus due to the number of students who will be traveling in that area of campus.
"There will be a high pedestrian volume so we tried to make the traffic table a little larger," Chapman said. "With that new residence hall being opened and the future wellness kitchen, there will be a lot of students moving around in that area."
Despite being cautious of future pedestrian traffic, Chapman said they have already made plans to change the traffic table.
"The approach ramps are steeper than they need to be and we acknowledge that. We are planning to rework it during an upcoming student break."
Until renovation can be completed, Chapman said he hopes drivers will become more aware of the steep traffic table and show caution when driving through the South Donahue part of campus.
"We ask for drivers to genuinely slow down for the traffic table and be aware that they are entering an area with more pedestrians," Chapman said.