Lyon takes first steps toward expanding on-campus housing

In an effort to see the student population increase 25 percent by 2017, Lyon College approved the construction of two new residence halls during a board of directors meeting in October. Fall 2015 is the projected completion date of the new housing construction.

The project will include two three-story units able to accommodate 100 students each that will be constructed on the current parking lot on the east side of campus. In addition to the new facilities, Brown and Barton Apartments will be completely renovated. After an architectural assessment, the College decided that the layout of the buildings was desirable, but a facelift was needed. The buildings, which were originally constructed in the 1970s, will be transformed into contemporary living spaces for the students.
After extensive interviews and reviewing proposals, Witsell Evans Rasco Architects in Little Rock was chosen to construct the new residence halls.

“The WER team is extremely excited to be working with such a great institution,” said WER Chief Operating Officer Eldon Bock. “Lyon College has created a campus environment that is deeply rooted in community, which helped inspire the housing model that is being developed. The new residence halls follow the latest trends in student housing. Truly based on a 'house' model that promotes interaction and friendships, the residence halls will also support individual and group learning within the facility. 
“An important development for the campus master plan, these two halls will complete the eastern housing quad creating a vibrant and vital living environment for that portion of the campus and the students that reside there. Based on sustainable design practices, these facilities will be top performers in energy efficiency and low-impact construction techniques. WER is looking forward to quickly completing the design requirements and seeing the projects under construction.”

By 2017, the College intends to see the student body grow to 800 students from the approximately 600 currently enrolled.

“Fundraising is already underway, and we will need the full support of our alumni and friends to make this goal a reality,” said Jon Vestal, vice president of Institutional Advancement.

“We are pleased to have WER as our architects because of their experience of building residence halls in Arkansas. We have already found that to be helpful in the design of our buildings, and we’re excited that together we’ll be able to create a home-away-from-home for our students,” said Donald Weatherman, president of Lyon College.