Hawthorn makes its debut

Amber Billings

Students can sample a different taste of residential living on Iowa State’s campus this year in the new Hawthorn Court apartment complex. Hawthorn Court, located at 13th Street and Stange Drive, is designed to give upper-class students a different perspective of residence-hall living and to draw them back onto campus. Students were able to begin moving into the complex at the beginning of August. To entice students, Director of Residence Randy Alexander said the residence department offered students affordable apartment-style living with a few extra amenities that couldn’t be found off campus. “Appliances are all furnished and every room includes ethernet, cable and phone outlets,” Alexander said. The current Hawthorn Court apartments are part of Phase 1 of the Department of Residence Master Plan. Phase 1 cost about $22 million, and Story Construction broke ground for Hawthorn Court in June 1999. One more building will be completed in September, community adviser Katie Bryda said. “The building is not open yet, but we’re five months ahead of schedule,” said Bryda, junior in community and regional planning. Alexander said he believes students are getting more for their money by living in the three-story apartment buildings as opposed a residence hall. In halls such as Friley or Wallace, the price for a double room is $2,454 per semester, and Maple Hall is $2,778. The prices in Hawthorn Court are $3,060 for a shared room or $3,330 for a personal room. “A lot of students have signed up for boarding also,” Alexander said, referring to the department’s food plan. All 11 buildings in Hawthorn Court are handicapped-accessible and include elevators. The apartments are surrounded by grassy areas, bike racks, and sidewalks, and parking is available for 1,500 vehicles. Alexander said there will be fewer rules at the apartments because of the students’ age. “It’s an adult-student neighborhood; they should be mature enough to handle themselves,” he said. Instead of residence advisers, the apartments will be organized by community advisers who will serve about 250 students each. So far, residents said they like what they see. “I’m really impressed with the furniture,” said Priscilla Rojas, sophomore in mathematics. “The bathrooms are convenient and the cabinet space worked out, except we had to buy something to add to the storage.” Several students have voiced concerns about the additional buildings yet to be constructed. One of these buildings is a community center, which the Department of Residence touted to prospective residents last spring. The center, which will include a fitness center, convenience store and cafe and grill, is scheduled to open in July 2001 during Phase 2 of the Master Plan. “When they did advertising for the [community center], I expected it to be completed,” said Tim Nordin, senior in physics and Hawthorn resident. “It’s nowhere near being done, and I’m disappointed because I’m only going to be here for one year.” According to Phase 2 plans, 11 more buildings will be completed by December 2001. Alexander said 1,992 students will live in Hawthorn Court when Phase 2 is completed.