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After just over two months of work, construction on the Green Prairie Living and Learning Community at the University of Minnesota, Morris is still on schedule. The new dorm will help ease capacity of on-campus housing, which is currently over capacity. (Barb Hesse/UMM News Service)

Green Dorm construction remains on schedule despite wintery conditions

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MORRIS -- Despite the harsh winter weather, construction of the Green Prairie Living and Learning Community at the University of Minnesota, Morris remains on schedule.

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With minimal construction delays, less than five working days, the McGough Construction crew has closed 50 percent of the roof of the “Green Dorm.” In the next four to five weeks, Site Supervisor Rick Lock expects the dorm to be completely enclosed, barring windows.

“We are in good shape considering the start date of the project,” said Lock. “As it stands, we’ve made good progress with the winter conditions. Valentine’s Day marked the two month construction anniversary.”

As construction continues on the outside of the Green Dorm, crews are working on the interior and lower levels. Concrete floors, which will later be stained, have been poured and the sub wall partitions are going up. Drywalling and construction of the second floor interior are expected to begin in early March.  

“Campus people have been good about moving snow around,” said Lock. “The transportation and grounds people have been helpful; it makes construction easier. They are great people to work with.”

UMM’s Office of Residential Life is currently holding a lottery for students who wish to live on campus next year, including in the Green Dorm. Students can sign up in the Office of Residential Life, indicating where they prefer to live next year. The lottery will close on March 7 and students will be selected shortly after.

Typically, between 300 and 350 students choose to return to campus living each year. The Green Dorm is designed to give students single room options that are currently unavailable.

“[On campus living] is currently over capacity, at about 106 percent,” said Sandy Olson-Loy, Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs.

“Some dorm rooms on campus are designed as triples and we would ideally only have two students living in those spaces but currently have three. The on-campus apartments are designed for four students. We would like to have three students living in each of the apartments but typically have four.”

The Green Dorm will not only offer students the option of living in a single room, but will also allow students in on-campus apartments to potentially have single rooms.

The new dorm will have four wings, two of which will be dedicated to an “uber” green way of living, one wing for upperclassmen and one for first year students. Students who wish to live on these floors will go through an application and selection process. Together, the Office of Residential Life and the Office of Sustainability are creating floor programming for these two themed floors. Residents of these floors will engage in one of four Green Teams that will focus on different aspects of how to live green.

In total, there will be 18 upper-class students living on the green themed floor including the Community Advisor. Students will receive leadership stipends for their participation in these programs.

The Office of Residential Life will be holding an informational meeting for students interested in living on these themed floors on Monday, Feb. 25. Through this meeting, they hope to receive student feedback about the potential plans for the sustainability themed floors and gauge the interest level of students.

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