Laramie, Wyo.—The Cowboys and Cowgirls of the University of Wyoming (UW) in Laramie will have fresh student residence options come summer of 2012. That’s when a new housing community with a design as striking as the wide-open landscape of Wyoming opens its doors to undergraduate and graduate students.
Designed by Irvine, Calif.-based KTGY Group Inc., Architecture and Planning, the project is to include 84 mostly four-bedroom, three-bath fully furnished apartments in 15 residential buildings, for a total of 332 beds.
The apartments will feature single-occupancy bedrooms and a blend of private and shared bathrooms, and will serve up a variety of price points. Also included will be a 4,000-square-foot community center with meeting and study rooms, a mail center, social lounge, gaming area and laundry facility.
The community’s developer is American Campus Communities Inc, and the general contractor is Meridian, Idaho-based Petra Construction. Property management is being furnished by the University of Wyoming.
In keeping with the increasingly green focus on campus, the community will meet LEED Silver status requirements. Among the sustainable features of the development will be high-efficiency room and water heating, low-VOC paints and materials, use of recycled materials and covered bicycle storage.
The prairie-style architecture is designed to complement the grandeur of the sprawling landscape surrounding Laramie, featuring natural colors and stone similar to major buildings on and near campus. Battened siding and stone, gable roofs and covered porches reflect the rugged western panorama, while helping provide an optimal comfort level on Wyoming’s wind-whipped winter days.
According to Dan McAllister, NCARB, principal at KTGY, the new community will be a draw in attracting students to UW. “New housing will keep UW on par with other top-tier schools offering similar programs,” he tells MHN.
While campuses across the country are delivering sustainable multifamily student housing, this project stands out from a design standpoint in meeting LEED Silver requirements on a tight budget in an extreme weather environment, while still providing a high level of character and interest, McAllister adds.
“Keeping the buildings and living units simple and efficient is critical to meeting these constraints,” he says. “All apartments have direct access, both front and rear to the community walkways. Corridors are non-existent, and bicycle storage is right outside the door of each entry, providing convenient campus access for each student.”
Among the community’s most thoughtful aspects is in providing students and their families a choice of housing to fit their individual budgets.
In apartments, “two bedrooms have private baths and two share a bath,” says David Senden, KTGY principal. “Varying accommodations provide higher and lower rent opportunities to meet budgets and needs more specifically than a one-size-fits-all scenario.”