WEST BURLINGTON, Iowa Assembly of the Blackhawk Tower housing facility at Southeastern Community College has begun in earnest.
The Hawk Eye reports that the stackable pods, which are roughly 11 feet by 54 feet, were completed beforehand, with everything from paint to cabinetry to plumbing and electrical features and sliding windows.
The pods will comprise three stories of the four-story housing facility on the south side of the college’s West Burlington campus.
Plumbing and electric connections between the pods will be installed after assembly is complete.
The facility has 10,000 square feet of ground floor space, which will be divided between a student commons area and a food court, as well as secure entrances and exits.
Some of the ground level flooring already has been installed, but the food service area will remain untouched until a bid for the work is agreed upon.
A temporary wall will be built around the food service area until work is completed.
Staircases will flank the front and back of the building, and there will be single elevator.
The ground floor also will contain restrooms, stackable laundry facilities, a simulation gaming area, general seating and study lounges.
The main entrance will be accessible only with cards, while the other entrance will be able to lock and unlock electronically at set times. If a door is propped open for too long, an alarm will sound. The dormitory also will have 24 security cameras.
According to SCC President Michael Ash, the reason for the security measures is due to the expansion of the Clery Act, which was signed in 1990 after Jeanne Clery was raped and murdered in her dorm room at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
The rest of the building will be comprised of 51 four-, five- and six-bed pods. Eighteen of the pods were in place by last week. Each suite will have internet and cable. Architectural bump-outs around the building will mark each pods kitchen and living areas, and the bedrooms will be to the side.
The insulated pods are connected with overlapping white, membrane roofing welded together with heat.
Ash plans to relocate Millennium Hall’s 46 resident students into the new dorms by Thanksgiving, leaving the old building available to developers for other projects. He hopes to relocate the remaining 42 dorm residents to Blackhawk Tower as well, but basketball players occupying Witte Hall have requested not to make the move. Ash has not reached a decision on whether he will allow their request.
The new dormitory will be able to accommodate 120 students, as well as three residential assistants, for whom three single-bedroom pods are available.
The $7 million building is paid for and owned by Campus Community Developers, which is in a public-private partnership with SCC. The group is responsible for maintenance.
The project is expected to be completed in the next few months.