Fisher to break ground on new residence hall

By Brian Boye, Staff Writer 

In addition to the eight residential halls at Fisher, there are plans to construct a new residential hall in spring 2018.

The building would be located next to Keough Hall and it would replace about half of parking lot P, which is located between Keough and Karney. The new hall will look similar to Keough Hall and a covered walkway will connect the two buildings.

Not only will parking be eliminated, but some see little need for a new addition at Fisher.

“I think it would be better to update buildings than to start new ones,” said Resident Assistant Oscar Villalta. “Haffey and Ward both have issues, a lot of them, especially with heating. I feel like if those systems were updated we would save a lot of money, in heating, lighting and utilities.”

Linda Steinkirchner, vice president for finance and chief financial officer, also notices that there are aspects to keep in mind as the plan to build this new residence hall continues. She realizes the need for more parking spaces, as about 25 will be eliminated, and she hopes that green space can be preserved so the campus doesn’t look like a concrete jungle.

The 2017 incoming freshman class was the largest Fisher has ever seen. With increasing numbers, there may be a need for another living space. However, Villalta thinks that if the number of accepted students is better regulated, there wouldn’t be a problem with housing.

“It’s a great success that this fall we had our largest incoming freshman class, and the other side of that is we have a group of students who are tripled,” said Steinkirchner. “We have gotten to a point where we really realize we have to do something about this. This is our approach to resolving that triple situation.”

The new residence hall should hold about 150 beds, which was calculated by the current number of triples. Although freshmen are usually placed in a two-person room with three people, it hasn’t been decided if the new hall will house upperclassmen or underclassmen.

However, plans have been set in place with Labella Associates, the architects of Keough Hall. The town of Pittsford will vote to approve or deny the submitted building documents at a meeting in January 2018

“If all were to go well, we believe we would be breaking ground in the spring of ’18, and hopefully opening in fall of ’19, with what we are calling the upper quad residence hall at this point,” said Steinkirchner.

At this time, tuition cost will not increase as a result of the new hall being built. Steinkirchner said the building will be funded with available cash and a minimal amount of borrowing. She also mentioned that any borrowed money could be offset by a donor, who would then possibly assume the name of the new hall.

This new development comes after the completion of the Hermance Family Chapel in September 2017. Building construction projects continue to expand the Fisher campus.

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