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New, Yet Somehow Familiar

Sutton Suites

The corner of Pratt and Grant streets will look like this in the future. (Courtesy of WTW Architects)

When Phase III of the Residential Revival is completed next year, at least one building may seem eerily familiar. On what by then will be the former site of Esch and Wallace halls will stand the Sutton Suites, so named because the building incorporates design details of the campus’s best-known landmark, Sutton Hall.

Situated along Pratt Drive, the new building will sit opposite the east lawn of Sutton, across the street from Flagstone Theater. Among its features will be an event space that can accommodate 150 people. Sutton Suites is only part of Phase III, though, with another building, the Suites on Pratt, replacing Campus Towers at the corner of Maple Street and Pratt Drive.

Residential Revival Northern Suites

From what some call Keith Field—between Keith and Whitmyre halls—the Northern Suites building looks closer to Breezedale, in the background, than it really is. The walk in the foreground connects Walsh Hall and the Hadley Union Building.

Pechan Health Center, opposite Campus Towers, will also be demolished in Phase III. The functions the building currently houses will be assumed by the Center for Health and Well-Being, soon to be located in the Suites on Maple. The Residential Revival is a collaboration between the Foundation for IUP and the university.

Scheduled for opening late this coming summer are both the Suites on Maple—which forms the southern half of a quad with the Suites on Grant—and the Northern Suites, located near Keith and Whitmyre halls. In addition to living quarters, all the new facilities will feature lounge, recreational, and study space. The second-phase buildings, like the first, will also have office space for student-centered services.

The third-phase Suites on Pratt, on the current site of Campus Towers, will have a specialized function, in that it will remain operational during class breaks. This will serve to accommodate international students and other on-campus residents who, for a variety of reasons, may not be leaving campus.

Residential Revival Pratt Drive

Perched on the roof of the soon-to-be-demolished Campus Towers, photographer Keith Boyer achieved this panoramic view of the Maple Street-Pratt Drive intersection and of Pratt Drive looking north (the bell tower of John Sutton Hall is just visible over rooftops). The building near the corner is the Suites on Maple, which completes a quad with the Suites on Grant, in the distance. The area just to the left of the clock tower will be the site of the university’s Center for Health and Well-Being.

Mirror of the Past

When John Sutton Hall opened in 1875, it contained nearly all the institution’s functions: instruction, residential space, food service, etc. In more than just their appearance, the Residential Revival suites buildings echo the Sutton of old. According to Jack Makara, assistant director of Housing and Residence Life for Assessment and Academic Initiatives, “Our suite-style buildings and the learning support spaces they encompass provide students with an opportunity to become immersed in a variety of academically, intellectually, and culturally engaging learning activities.”

Residential Revival Maple Ave

Since late last spring, Maple Street has been closed from Pratt Drive (foreground) to Eleventh Street but will reopen as soon as the Suites on Maple, shown in its entirety, is ready for occupancy. Pechan Health Center, left, will be demolished this spring.

Inside the suites, students can attend workshops or programs presented by faculty and staff members, collaborate with other students through study groups and peer mentoring, attend meetings of organizations and clubs, make use of computer labs and resource rooms, and utilize a variety of services offered by offices within the buildings. “It’s a 360-degree approach,” Makara said.

The living-learning concept, however, extends far beyond the new buildings. This academic year, nearly 60 percent of on-campus residents live in designated living-learning communities. Students signing up for housing for next fall can choose from among twenty-two such options, ranging from Asian Studies to Global Awareness to Substance-Free Lifestyle to Women in Math, Science, and Technology.

For the current Spring semester, Vice President of Student Affairs Rhonda Luckey made available mini-grants that support living-learning initiatives. Faculty interest in the grants was strong, Makara said.

Jackie Beck, director of Academic Planning and Assessment in the College of Health and Human Services, chairs the Living-Learning Planning Team with Makara. (The team’s activities were described in an earlier issue of IUP Magazine.) According to Beck, “The character, atmosphere, and activities in the living-learning communities are intentionally designed to promote a new level of engagement for students—right there in their home.”

Campus Towers Replacement

This is how the “replacement” for Campus Towers near the corner of Pratt and Maple streets will look. Unlike other residence halls, this building will remain operational during class breaks. (Courtesy of WTW Architects)