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Brook Street dorms to feature new thematic communities

Dorms will include sustainability, religious, civic engagement-focused housing

<p>Danhoff Hall and the 250 Brook St. residence hall, two new dorms set to be ready for occupancy in August 2023, will feature new communities themed around sustainability, religious and spiritual life and civic engagement. </p><p>Courtesy of Brown University</p>

Danhoff Hall and the 250 Brook St. residence hall, two new dorms set to be ready for occupancy in August 2023, will feature new communities themed around sustainability, religious and spiritual life and civic engagement.

Courtesy of Brown University

The Brook Street dorms currently under construction will feature new communities focused on themes of sustainability, religious and spiritual life and civic engagement, according to a Wednesday email to students from Brenda Ice, senior associate dean and senior director of residential life. 

The Office of Residential Life also released floor plans for the dorm at 250 Brook St. and the William and Ami Danoff Residence Hall. Both buildings are set to be complete by fall 2023.

Theme communities

In the same vein as Sternlicht Commons, the dorms on Brook Street will include designated communities that focus on three themes: civic engagement and advocacy, sustainability and religious life.

“All three will be located in the new Brook Street residence halls, in partnership with the Associate Provost of Sustainability, the Office of the Chaplains and Religious Life and the Swearer Center” for Public Service, Ice wrote. “These programs will be added to our existing partnerships with BWell Health Promotions in support of our wellness community as well as … the recovery community at 219 Bowen” St.

ResLife, in conjunction with the Office of the Chaplains and Religious Life, will review “requests for specific features in a housing assignment based on religious beliefs, observances and practices and (determine) the appropriate housing assignment,” Ice wrote.

The sustainability program at the Brook Street dorms will help students “deepen their understanding of the principles and practices of sustainability,” according to the ResLife website. This new program is separate from the Environmental Program Housing currently at North House and West House.

“Civic engagement residents will have an interest in and experience with any of the multiple paths for civic engagement, including but not limited to: direct service and capacity building; community-engaged learning and research; social innovation; and organizing, activism and advocacy,” according to the website.

Fatima Yousaf ’25, who currently has a suite in Barbour Hall for religious accommodations, said that she appreciates the sense of community that can come from living near other students with similar values.

“Even though we necessarily don't interact on a daily basis, it's kind of nice to know that you have that shared space with people who might have a common interest or just a common reason for being here,” Yousaf said. “It's just kind of a nice vibe.”

Marielle Buxbaum ’24 expressed a positive view of on-campus themed communities, such as the one in Sternlicht Commons. 

One event hosted at the Health and Wellness Center made a positive impression on Buxbaum. “I just thought it was amazing that there was this activity that was so earnest and about trying to be more well and that people were actually showing up,” she said of the event. “It was really cool that the people who are the most sincere and enthusiastic about that topic actually had the opportunity to do that together.”

Information about the application process for the three communities will be released in January, according to the ResLife website.

Floor plans for Danhoff Hall and 250 Brook St.

Ice also announced the release of floor plans and suite configurations for Danhoff Hall and the 250 Brook St. dorm. 

Each of the buildings consists of two-, three- and four-person suites. According to the floor plans, most suites will hold four people. Each suite will have a common area and one bathroom, and some two-person suites will have kitchenettes. 

Additionally, each floor will have a large and small lounge area as well as three communal kitchens, according to the ResLife website. The first floor of each building will have a larger lounge space as well as additional reservable spaces. 

The 250 Brook St. dorm will include a retail space on the first floor that will be accessible to the public. The tenant of this area has not yet been confirmed. 

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Construction updates

The construction timeline is on track for the new dorms to be ready for occupancy by August 2023, according to Paul Dietel, assistant vice president of planning, design and construction.

“The single largest challenge the project has faced is working through an unprecedented global supply chain crisis,” Dietel wrote in an email to The Herald. Still, the project is proceeding as planned. 

“The building structure is complete with the exterior building envelope closure (including walls and roof) proceeding rapidly toward a weather-tight milestone date of December 2022,” Dietel wrote. The interior work — which includes electrical work, plumbing, drywall and wall construction — is set to be completed on schedule as well. 



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