Babson College in Wellesley breaks ground this fall on a new 200-bed freshman dormitory in the center of campus, designed to allow all first-year students to live in the same area.
College officials expect the new dorm to be open by 2015.
Wellesley planning board members unanimously approved the 78,000 square-foot residence hall in early May, after finding the project met town standards and did not significantly impact traffic, the neighborhood, or town water, sewer and other services.
College officials have asked the town to allow them to increase the size of the project by 3,000 square feet to provide for storage space and the Planning Board has scheduled a hearing on Aug 19 to deal with the request.
Babson officials said the new three-story dorm will not increase enrollment, but will help restructure the campus to keep all freshmen living in one area.
The new project will be built alongside the three existing Park Manor dorms – which house first-year students – to create a new freshman quad, said Michael Chmura, Babson spokesman.
Currently, some first-year students live in a dormitory called Forest Hall, located near the college’s main entrance – which is about a 10 to 15 minute walk from the Park Manor complex, Chmura said.
“The idea is to bring the entire first-year population together, so they can have a 24/7 experience of living co-curricularly,” Chmura said. “It’s a more centralized location for first-year students. Most now are separated.”
Chmura said the central location – the new dorm would be near the library, the gym, and the student center – would also help freshmen complete their required year-long group project, where freshmen learn how to start, manage, and liquidate a business.
“The first-year course demands a lot of time together,” he said. “This allows to have workspace built in.”