Board signs off on name for new student residence halls

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News
Artist rendering of Western Heights

Artist rendering of Western Heights

KALAMAZOO, Mich—Western Michigan University's new state-of-the-art residence halls will be known as Western Heights, after the student-suggested name won unanimous approval from University trustees at their Sept. 30 meeting.

The two-building residence hall complex is currently under construction and slated for completion in time to house fall 2015's incoming students. Located in the Center Residential Neighborhood at the heart of the WMU campus, the new complex will be home to approximately 750 students. The complex is targeted at new students and designed to encourage social engagement and provide an innovative living experience.

WMU Vice President Diane Anderson presented the naming recommendation to the board and explained the process through which her staff gathered student input to select the final name. The name selected, Western Heights, was the choice of students, she said, and it met the hopes of staff members.

"This is in keeping with what we wanted," Anderson said. "We wanted a name that had 'Western' in it, and we wanted a name that included physical attributes of the facility or landscape. Because the new residence halls are going to be overlooking Goldsworth Valley, it's a very appropriate name."

The design for Western Heights, which is the first residence hall of its type in Michigan, is intended to build multiple levels of community engagement and facilitate academic success. Each living area is arranged into houses of 30-35 students on each floor with a kitchen and study area, plus centrally private bathrooms maintained by staff. Central community spaces on four levels feature laundry and study areas, an open-air terrace, plus entertainment and game rooms.

Among other features in the new complex are furnished bedrooms, built-in closets, air conditioning, third-floor laundry areas, and campus safety and convenience features.

For a closer video look at Western Heights, visit

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