Husson University, Bangor, Maine
Husson University’s decision to build the new Townhouse Residences was driven by the need to ease the shortage of on-campus student housing due to increased enrollment in 2016. The three-building complex was designed with the intent to provide housing for upperclassmen and to attract those students living off campus, to return to the Husson campus. The design solution was apartment style housing, combined with the benefits and conveniences of dorm style living.
During the initial planning process, student focus groups were held to determine the features and amenities that students would want to see in these apartments. Heading the list were private bedrooms with no more than four beds per apartment, a common living area, full kitchen, two bathrooms, washer/dryer, air conditioning and parking adjacent to the buildings. Students also wanted the conveniences of living in a dormitory, which would include amenities such as cable television, high-speed, wireless Internet, and no maintenance.
The University listened and commissioned JSA, Inc. of Portsmouth, NH for the design of the project, incorporating the students’ checklists. After the university studied the various concepts submitted, the design selected included six apartments per building, with four bedrooms per unit. JSA worked with the James W. Seawall Company, the site-engineering firm, to develop an overall master plan for the construction of up to 20 buildings in a village-like setting, on a knoll, overlooking the Husson campus. Phase 1 was comprised of three, two-story buildings providing a total of 72 beds.
Given this was the first phase of a larger development; significant investments were made in the initial infrastructure. Utilities and telecommunications were extended from the center of the campus, an access road was improved and Cyr Drive was constructed that will eventually be the primary loop road linking all the townhouses.
The design of each of the townhouses has three rectangular elements, each with intersecting rooflines, dormers and porches to provide sheltered entrances.
The townhouses are wood framed construction featuring maintenance free siding and trim, architectural shingled roofs, triple glazed windows, stone masonry wainscot and an insulated building envelope that exceeds the state energy code. Heating and cooling utilized ductless wall mounted heat pumps allowing for individual control for each living space with LED, energy efficient lighting throughout the interior.
CC of Maine was retained by Husson University and provided preconstruction services that included feasibility studies, budgeting, developing/issuing RFP’s for design services and construction management services. During the construction phase, CC of Maine provided owner’s representative/project management services.
Groundbreaking for the Townhouse Residences took place in October 2016 and construction was completed in August 2017, ahead of schedule and under budget.
Photos by Kevin Bennett