April 18, 2008 – Northwestern College has announced plans to utilize the former Holiday Inn facility at 1201 West County Road E in Arden Hills, Minn. as a student residence hall beginning in August 2008. The arrangement involving a three-year lease from the new property owner received approval from the Arden Hills City Council on April 14th.
According to Northwestern College President Alan S. Cureton, the new residence hall is needed. “Northwestern’s enrollment growth and a shortage of student housing is an exciting problem to have,” he said. “The Arden Hall facility will be a wonderful place for students to stay while we move forward with plans to build an additional residence facility on campus.”
“Arden Hall” is the name of the new facility and aggressive plans for student-friendly redesign for the facility are already underway. Arden Hall will house approximately 300 students. Each room will be equipped with a full bathroom, mini-fridge and a microwave. In addition the renovation includes several common areas such as a recreation room, computer lounge, meeting room, study areas and a large social gathering area.
The arrangement provides a win-win situation for the property owner and the college. With a moratorium on development to allow time for the City of Arden Hills to determine best and appropriate use of the property, the new owner/investor has an opportunity to have the building utilized while future development is being planned. Northwestern needs short-term space to house students until an on-campus residence hall can be built. The Arden Hills community will benefit, also, by having pizza-eating, coffee-drinking, grocery-buying students occupying what would otherwise be a large, vacant property.
A new residence hall is expected to be built on Northwestern’s property at 3003 Snelling Avenue North by 2011. Currently in the midst of a capital campaign, Northwestern expects to first break ground on a new Community Life Commons Building in summer 2009. Once that building is constructed and as campaign funds make it possible, the college plans to construct an additional on-campus residence.
As a traditionally residential campus with all student housing either on-campus or within three to four blocks from campus, having a student residence 1.8 miles away will be an adjustment. Transportation to and from campus is planned through shuttle service running a continuous route solely between Arden Hall and the campus.
Arden Hall will provide housing for all class levels (freshmen through seniors). Also in residence will be two resident directors and two assistant resident directors, along with a staff of resident assistants. With the safety of students as a key priority, security staff will be on-site during overnight hours as well as an around-the-clock receptionist. All Northwestern College policies will apply to students living in this facility; smoking and alcohol are prohibited.
Northwestern College is a private Christian liberal arts college in Saint Paul, Minn. offering 50 bachelor’s degrees, two master’s degrees and several associate degree and certificate programs—all taught within a biblical Christian worldview. Over 3,000 students are enrolled in Northwestern’s traditional undergraduate and continuing and graduate education programs in North and South America.