New Residence Hall
Thomas College, Waterville, Maine

Thomas College Residence Hall

Following a recent update of Thomas College’s campus master plan, it became apparent that the College required additional student housing. Further study identified the demand for upperclassmen housing, with a residence that would also attract students currently living off campus. With a mandate from the Board of Trustees, the College embarked on an ambitious plan in the spring of 2016, to assemble a building team that would be ready to start construction in fall, 2016.

A request for qualifications was sent to a select group of highly qualified, design firms. After careful review and consideration, JSA, Inc. of Portsmouth, NH was commissioned for the project. JSA was no stranger to Thomas College having partnered with the College on the design and construction of previous projects, including Bartlett Hall and Hinman Hall.

Based on projected student enrollment, the new residence hall was to be designed to accommodate 150 students, and to be constructed in two phases. The campus master plan sited the building on the east side of the campus, with frontage on the loop road, in an area currently used as a practice field for athletics. This location, near the center of the campus, was chosen due to its convenience for the students and proximity to the existing utility infrastructure.

The L-shaped residence was designed for the full 150-bed buildout, with the first phase of 26,850 sf to be constructed with 16 suites totaling 82 beds. The three-story, steel framed structure would complement other recently constructed campus buildings. All are anchored with a masonry first level, topped by a combination of metal panels above. The pitched roof included architectural shingles with an elevated tower-like roof at the main entrance, creating a focal point to distinguish the building. 

The first phase of the residence hall incorporates the infrastructure for 150 beds in both common spaces and the utility infrastructure. The first-floor entry has common space including a large lounge with a fireplace, study area, full kitchen with seating area and laundry room. The upper floors feature quiet study areas and elevator lobbies with central lounges in the elevator lobbies overlooking the campus. The five bed suites are a combination of one and two bedroom units with two bathrooms and a large common living area.

CC of Maine was retained once again by Thomas College, to provide preconstruction services that included feasibility studies, budgeting, developing/issuing RFP’s for design and construction management services and coordinating the efforts of the design team and construction manager to develop the project within the College’s budget.

The project was temporarily deferred by the College. The full design is complete, construction costs are in place, a building schedule has been established, and the project is ready to proceed.

Renderings by JSA Architects