The University of Colorado is planning a $22.8 million remodel of the Kittredge West residence hall -- the fifth construction project in a series of six at the Kittredge dorm complex.

The projects are aimed at better blending campus living and learning, as the remodeled residence halls house "residential academic programs" and make room for faculty apartments and seminar-style classrooms. They also include spacious living suites, as CU leaders try to draw more sophomores, juniors and seniors living on the campus.

CU's Board of Regents is scheduled Tuesday to vote on a measure approving construction plans for the project. The Kittredge West dorm would close in May 2012 for the renovation and re-open by August 2013.

The building was originally constructed in 1982. The 71,797-square-foot building would be expanded by 2,500 square feet, according to the plan.

Campus officials propose that the project be bond-financed by the university and repaid with revenue from Housing and Dining Services. CU would be able to increase the number of beds on the campus, which translates to extra revenue that allows the school to pay off the bonds, according to officials.

If approved, the dorm will house a residential academic program devoted to pre-health professions, said Bronson Hilliard, spokesman for the Boulder campus.


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Already, CU has remodeled Arnett, Andrews and Buckingham halls -- projects that each cost $14 million to $16 million, according to Megan Rose, spokeswoman for Facilities Management at CU. Smith Hall is undergoing a $28.1 million renovation and addition.

As the campus remodels its dorms -- like those most recently in the Kittredge Complex -- apartments are being built and reserved for faculty members so they can live alongside students. The setup, a tradition at Ivy League schools, allows for mentoring and informal academic conversations over lunch in the dining halls, hallways or events hosted in the dorms.

Scot Douglas was the inaugural faculty-in-residence, and he leads the engineering honors program in Andrews Hall. In Buckingham, professor Damian Doyle heads the communications program.

In fall 2011, professor Paul Strom will lead the arts and sciences honors program in Arnett, and another faculty member -- who has not yet been determined -- will be the faculty-in-residence for a global studies program in Smith Hall.

The sixth project will be in the Kittredge Commons. Rose said the plan is to tear down the existing building and replace it with "Kittredge Central," which will include 250 beds, common activity space and classrooms for residential academic programs.

The remodeled dorms are a draw for students.

CU student Holly Moran, a freshman from Chicago, said she originally was assigned to the College Inn, but she didn't like the idea of living in an "old, run-down hotel." So she got a housing switch to Buckingham and enrolled in the communication residential academic program.

The up sides, she said, of living in a remodeled dorm: Her room has its own shower; there are community rooms where hallmates recently threw a birthday party; and a shared kitchen allows students to show off their culinary talents, making honey-baked hams and Kalua pork.

Pre-journalism freshman Trent Lyon, of Broomfield, said he requested on his housing application that he live in a remodeled Buckingham room. He's enrolled in the residential academic program and said the students in the dorm are close-knit, giving a neighborhood feel to an otherwise-large campus.

"You get to know the people who live here better," he said.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Brittany Ana at 303-473-1132 or anasb@dailycamera.com.