NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — Iona College’s new North Avenue Residence Hall in New Rochelle officially opened on October 15 in a celebration attended by faculty, students, administrators, community members, elected officials and members of the design and construction teams. The 310-student residence hall spans seven stories and roughly 100,000 square feet, with nearly 7,000 square feet of retail space located on the ground level and six levels of suit-style housing above.
The new residence hall — designed by Studio Hillier Architects of Princeton, N.J., — provides students with apartment-style living, including living rooms and cooking and laundry facilities as well as common areas to meet the needs of upperclassmen. The facility helps to increase the quality and quantity of residential housing options for Iona College students while also helping to revitalize the North Avenue section of New Rochelle, according to a statement by EW Howell, the project’s New York-based general construction and construction management firm.
More than 300 students have already moved into the new $25 million residence hall, which features two- and four-bedroom air-conditioned suites equipped with LED lighting and high-speed internet, according to a statement by EW Howell. Each 750-square-foot suite offers one full and one half baths. Further, the southern and eastern faces of the structure boast a glass wall tower housing multi-purpose lounges on each floor, and the tower’s top floor offers excellent views of the Iona campus, New Rochelle and the Long Island Sound.
As many Iona College students live in unregulated off-campus housing, this college-managed residence hall will provide additional security and management of the student population while increasing the number and quality of student living options at the college, according to documentation of the project on the college’s website.
Throughout the planning process, Iona College officials solicited input from students and community leaders through a series of community meetings, which also continued through the construction process. Student residents now describe life in the new residence hall as having the “vibe of an upscale apartment in the city” and “like living in a really nice hotel,” according to a statement by EW Howell.
While students enjoy the building’s modern perks, Iona College President Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D noted in a statement that the institution is a groundbreaking development for both Iona College and the city of New Rochelle. “We celebrate our partnership with New Rochelle, in the spirit of positive town-gown relationships — working together to move our corner of the world,” Nyre said.
“Throughout our 125-year history, we have developed a deep understanding of the complex environment of the education sector — whether it’s public, private, higher-education or specialty — the challenges of building within each area are unique and need to be dealt with effectively,” added Jack Hagen, vice president of EW Howell’s Education Construction Division, in a statement. “From beautiful new residence halls such as the new Iona North Avenue Residence Hall to stadium-style auditoriums to state-of-the-art research laboratories, our hand-picked education sector teams are always ready for the next challenge.”
The project was initially approved in September 2014, and initial site work began in February 2015. Construction on the building itself commenced in April 2015. The project was completed on budget and in time for the new academic year in August 2016.