Work Continuing on Construction of New Residence Hall

Work is continuing on Western’s new Residence Hall, to be sited on the Ridge at the location of Highland Hall and Highland Lounge, which are now in the process of being demolished to make room for the new residence hall. 

Demolition and new parking lot

Demolition of Highland Hall and Highland Lounge is on schedule; over the next 10 days, however, there will be grinding of concrete, which will create some noise.

In addition, the contractor has completed work constructing a new displacement parking lot south of Science Lecture and west of Morse Hall, since residence hall construction will take parking lot 14G offline through most of the project duration. The new facility is slated to be complete and open before fall 2021.

Please note that the trail between the Chemistry and Biology buildings will remain closed for six to seven weeks, pending the arrival and installation of lighting for the path.

‘Shared Journey’

The new residence hall design is intended to overcome the steep grade up from main campus at College Hall to provide ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) access – through use of ramps, landings and an elevator – to and through the new residence hall. A single pathway for all through the new residence hall, described as a “shared journey” for the community, also will offer convenient access to dining, meeting and other building amenities.

New residence hall amenities will include laundry and storage, lounges, common kitchens, kitchenettes in some units, and study areas. Secure bicycle storage will be available indoors in a first floor bike storage room and outside with covered and uncovered bike racks. Site improvements will include pedestrian pathways and improved lighting from the north end of the Ridgeway complex to campus.

The new residence hall will have approximately 400 beds in a mix of room types, a net gain of 264 beds after accounting for the loss of beds at Highland Hall.


The project is targeting LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold rating. LEED certification is a green building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Concrete from the demolished Highland Hall will be used as fill for the new project, eliminating the need to haul it away as construction waste and the need to bring in new materials for fill. Also, the Highland Lounge roof beams have been salvaged to be made into furniture in the new residence hall.  

Trustees OK sale of revenue bonds

At their August meeting, Western’s Board of Trustees authorized the sale of Housing and Dining Revenue Bonds to fund the costs to demolish Highland Hall; build and equip a new residence hall on the Ridge; fund additional housing system renovations and to pay costs of issuance of the bonds. The total budget for the project, including construction, is estimated to be approximately $65 million

The trustees also approved a resolution to increase the total project budget for the new residence hall by $1.8 million to make the Ridgeway Commons dining facility accessible. The additional funding will renovate Ridgeway Commons to include ADA ramps, restrooms and elevator service.     

For more information on the new residence hall please see the project webpage at the Office of Facilities Development & Capital Budget or the project webpage at University Residences. Parking information and parking map are available at the Parking Services website.

New residence hall showing its skybridge
New residence hall's patio will overlook the Ridge
New residence hall looking from the north