Four-hundred-five Lehigh students will call Singleton, Hitch and Maida House “home” come fall 2020. Previously known as the “Bridge West” project, these houses will accommodate the university’s plans to grow the student body as part of the Path to Prominence.
The dorms — named after Lehigh alumni donors — are located next to Taylor House on the corner of University Drive and Sayre Drive. They are part of the first phase of the two-part project to build new on-campus housing. Phase II of the project includes the demolition and rebuilding of Trembley Park, which is expected to open fall 2021.
Students will be chosen through the housing lottery system to live in the “New Residential Houses,” (NRH) which is made up of the Singleton, Hitch and Maida Houses. Sophomores and upper class students are eligible to live in the NRH. The lottery for fall 2020 housing opens March 4.
“I think (the NRH) is going to be a fantastic addition,” Director of Housing Services Ozzie Breiner said. “It opens up the entire west side of our campus.”
According to Lehigh housing’s website, the NRH will include eight floors of air conditioned, suite-style dorms, with co-ed living on all floors. All three buildings will have large common areas, which will be accessible to all Lehigh students. The Hitch House will include a cafe and fitness center. A multipurpose studio space will be available for reservation in the Maida House.
SouthSide Commons will continue to be an off-campus apartment-style housing option for primarily sophomores, juniors and seniors.
Breiner said unlike SouthSide, the NRH will allow more student interaction and connection within its numerous social areas and suite-style rooms.
“There are a lot of students who are unaware of the different housing options, on and off campus,” said Jaslyn Almonte, ‘21, a current Farrington Square resident. “Students need more help to find convenient, affordable housing.”
She said she will be living in Farrington Square again next year due to her financial aid.
The housing notice sent out in fall 2018 — which stated that there would be limited on-campus housing options for upperclassmen for the following academic year — caused housing-related challenges for many rising juniors and seniors at the time. Students were encouraged to seek off-campus alternatives, such as SouthSide Commons, or to take a chance with the housing lottery.
With the NRH and other future housing improvements, Breiner said he believes Lehigh housing is in a much better place.
“I think the housing situation in general is much more stable,” he said. “There will be options for those who want to live on campus.”
Phase two of the NRH will add additional living spaces for 357 students. The demolition of Trembley is expected to occur July 2020, with construction of the new space directly following.
Associate Director of Housing Services Christina D’Aversa said the new Singleton, Hitch and Maida housing layouts and web pages have been published. She said she encourages any student with questions about the NRH to view this information.
“We are excited,” D’Aversa said. “It is a very exciting time to be here — there are lots of changes going on.”