St. Olaf launches the Ole Avenue Project
Living together in community is a defining part of the St. Olaf experience, and the college is making a significant investment in residence life through the Ole Avenue Project.
The St. Olaf Board of Regents recently approved a plan to build a new 300-bed residence hall on the south side of St. Olaf Avenue, as well as town house–style residences with 140 student beds that will replace the honor houses on the north side of St. Olaf Avenue. The college will break ground on the project in the fall of 2020, and expects to complete it by the fall of 2022.
The Ole Avenue Project creates a new gateway between St. Olaf and the community on the eastern edge of campus. It will help St. Olaf address a three-decades-long housing shortage on campus and improve the residential experience for all students. The design also includes 200 additional parking stalls, green space, and other improvements to promote interaction and community.
The Ole Avenue Project has been designed to meet the needs of students today and in the future. The residence hall and town houses will meet today’s standards for fire safety, accessibility, egress, indoor air quality, and other essentials, including allowing the college to have a more gender inclusive approach to housing students. Renovations to the college’s existing residence halls will reduce overcrowding and restore study, lounge, and community spaces.
The Ole Avenue Project also includes space for the college’s Counseling Services and Health Services with a separate entrance in the east wing of the new residence hall. Integrated health and counseling services on-site will provide more holistic care and easier access for students.
St. Olaf students have helped inform the development of this project over the past two years by participating in surveys, focus groups, and community meetings about the college’s existing on-campus housing and needs for the future.