Campus renovations continue: Solberg returns this summer, apartments begin construction in spring 2024

Campus renovations continue: Solberg returns this summer, apartments begin construction in spring 2024
Graphic by Olivia Bertino.

Campus renovations are ramping up with Solberg Hall becoming available to students this summer and campus apartments undergoing construction as early as spring 2024, although this increased housing is causing concerns with parking.

The newly renovated Solberg is set to go online during summer 2023. Updated room designs, added air conditioning and an elevator are the main new features of the dorm.

Solberg’s design will be similar to the recently renovated Bergsaker, with the bathrooms sectioned into four individual shower rooms with a general public sink area. Dorm rooms will contain two beds, two desks and two individual closet spaces.

According to Jenna Bump, the director of housing operations, all of the built-in desks and dressers that Solberg previously housed will be removed. The floors and walls will be refreshed as well.

Bergsaker, Wagoner and Solberg will contain a mix of first-year students and upperclassmen, with grades separated by floor. Wings will be separated by gender in Solberg and most of Bergsaker. Wagoner Hall will continue with mixed-gender floors but will keep occupants of connecting suites to the same gender.

According to Bump, the second floor of all three south-side halls will be for first year students. Stavig will be dedicated to first year students exclusively, and Granskou will be for sophomores, juniors and seniors.

Multiple halls will contain gender-flexible housing as well.

“We have flexible housing floors,” Bump said. “We have one in Bergsaker this year on the first floor. With Tuve coming offline, we moved more flexible housing space to the towers, so Granskou first floor and Stavig first floor will be flexible housing as well.”

As for campus apartments, the proposed apartment building along Grange Avenue is estimated to break ground by spring 2024 at the earliest, according to Rick Tupper, the associate vice president of campus safety and logistics. The university is still navigating the city zoning process at this time.

Augustana and Lloyd, the building’s development company, held an open house on March 29 to show students and residents of Sioux Falls the projected plan for the apartment building.

Drew O’Brien, the project developer, said the apartment building will be four stories and hold about 103 beds. Units will range from 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms to single or double studios with single bathrooms.

According to Bump, there haven’t been many conversations about the housing selection process for the future apartment building, as construction has not started. She said she assumes it would be similar to current campus apartments, which are available for third and fourth year students through a lottery.

According to freshman Sydney Rogers, Bergsaker, Solberg and Wagoner were in high demand for room selection this year. Rogers said that by the time she could sign up, only Granskou was available.

Rogers also said the high demand for south-side housing has made her worried about parking availability and available permits for certain lots.

“If I were to live on the south side of campus, parking would be a major concern of mine,” Rogers said. “As an education student, I will frequently have to go off campus for practicum and am not looking forward to the potential point-five-mile walk to the football stadium every time I have to leave campus.”

With the addition of parking at the Midco Arena, 360 parking spaces will be available on the south side of campus, the same amount of spots as the former Bergsaker parking lot.

Even so, the arena lot will not be available in the coming fall, according to Tupper. Once available, students with arena permits will also be required to move their vehicles out of the lot for hockey games.

Despite undergoing renovations, the parking lot for Tuve Hall will still be available for permit parking next year. Tupper also said the next major parking addition will be expanding the Fryxell lot, but that won’t happen until the summer of 2024 at the earliest.