Champlain College students settle into new dorm - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Champlain College students settle into new dorm

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BURLINGTON, Vt. - It's back to school for college students across the state. Champlain College is welcoming students back with the completion of a new $30 million project.

Driving up Maple Street, one of three new additions to the Champlain College campus blends in with Burlington's historic neighborhood. But a walk onto the new housing campus reveals a modern space surrounding an amphitheater.

"Between the three buildings we add almost 300 beds out here on Champlain's Hill campus," said Champlain College's David Provost.

The project is known to the community as Res-Tri. The new buildings -- Valcour, Butler and Juniper -- are all named after Islands in Lake Champlain. Students moved in all weekend as they prepared to begin classes Monday. "Bed is made, the computer's hooked up, TV's hooked up -- everything's ready," said parent Kelly Filippi.

In Butler Hall there's a community space for students to hang out. Each floor has multiple hallways leading to the dorms. And for Student Ambassador Rhea Hayes, moving in makes the college experience that much more enjoyable. "We're kind of the first people to live in these rooms and this house, so I just really wanted to get in on that," Hayes said.

"It's definitely a step up from the traditional dorms. It just brings a whole happy feel," said sophomore Andrew Filippi.

"I think for both the community and the students, they're really going to love this space. The reaction to the rooms, of course, is overwhelming," Provost said.

The $30 million project is part of a master plan to make housing available to all students. Champlain College still has plans to add 900 more beds. "One of their biggest struggles is finding housing. If the institutions take responsibility for providing their housing while they're here at school, that frees up valuable housing stock for young professionals," Provost said.

With about 2,000 students preparing for the new school year, there's also a promenade to welcome students walking from campus to downtown. "We're trying to create an interior pedestrian way to take some of the foot traffic off South Willard Street and Maple Street," Provost said.

With the new buildings up and running, it's now up to the students to keep the rooms nice and tidy. "I'm organized -- that's the only good thing about me,"  Andrew Filippi said.

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