With move in complete, Western Heights residents will showcase new hall

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News
Photo of students in the commons area of Western Heights.

Work on Western Heights was completed just before the beginning of the fall 2015 semester.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Heights, a revolutionary new take on the idea of a traditional student residence hall, will be showcased by the people who know it best—its first residents—during an open house set for 3 to 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12.

The new residence hall complex is the first major new housing initiative for incoming students WMU has completed in decades. The amenities, building design, social benefits generated and environmental strengths of the halls are expected to set the new standard for campus living across the state and nation. 

Western Heights

Photo of the exterior of Western Heights.

Western Heights was built to LEED specifications.

Completed just days before 740 residents moved in for the fall semester, Western Heights uses design innovation to promote a sense of community and encourage socialization among the students who live there. The two Y-shaped buildings offer living space organized into houses—three on each of four floors for a total of 23 houses. Each house is a campus home to 35 students.

The houses on each floor include commons areas and centrally private bathrooms and showers with high-end finishes. The houses are organized around a central public area that is home to such amenities as lounge and recreation areas as well as laundry facilities. Each building has a reception desk and a lounge with a fireplace on the first floor. The fireplace surround in each lobby features reused gymnasium flooring.

Built to LEED—Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design—specifications, the air-conditioned buildings feature high-efficiency heating and cooling, water conservation and lighting materials as well as storm water management control and occupancy sensors driving lighting and heating and cooling controls. State-of-the-art construction materials used include energy-efficient insulation, exterior sunscreens, tinted glass and an EnergyStar roof.

Open house attendees will be able to visit sample hall "houses" and sample individual rooms as well as public areas in the new complex. A fly-through video and additional information is available at wmich.edu/housing/westernheights.

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