Julia A. Sears Residence Hall
Minnesota State University, Mankato
150,000 sq. ft.
Designed by Bentz/Thompson/Reitow, Ayers/Saint/Cross and the students of Minnesota State University, Mankato, the Julia A. Sears Residence Hall is a four story 150,275 sq. ft. building featuring semi-suite-style rooms in double and single units. The building also includes a convenience store, student lounges and residential life spaces.
The new Residence Hall provides students with every amenity imaginable! One of the unique features is that each pair of dorm rooms shares a bathroom. Along with the bathrooms, each floor has two lounges — one on each wing — that allow students ample space to study and relax. Each floor has two kitchenettes equipped with ranges and sinks for students to prepare their own meals. The exterior features extensive paver walkways and rest areas, as well as more than 1,000 plants to create a relaxing environment.
Knutson broke ground in January of 2007, which brought many challenges. The most significant issue was the unusually mild winter that created a site full of thick, deep mud. Difficultly moving equipment impacted foundation work. Our solution: bringing in multiple yards of rock to attempt to establish a temporary construction road throughout the site. The warm weather wasn’t necessarily always a bad thing, as it helped our masonry crews gain time in our construction schedule.