New residence hall opens Monday

The 17th Avenue residence hall is the first on campus to house greek chapters.

A study lounge on the six floor of the new 17th Avenue residence hall.

Image by Bridget Bennett

A study lounge on the six floor of the new 17th Avenue residence hall.

by Meghan Holden

After 18 months of construction, the University of Minnesota’s 17th Avenue residence hall will be open for student move-in Monday.

The $62.5 million building, located on the corner of University and 17th avenues, is unusual on campus — it will house two greek chapters and is the University’s first sustainable residence hall.

More than 600 students, along with the greek chapters and four Living Learning Communities, will occupy the six-story residence hall.

The building boasts a variety of “green” amenities, including the University’s first gray water system, which collects rainwater off the third floor roof to supply toilet and sprinkler water for the building.

“From start to end, sustainability was always at the top of our minds,” said University spokesman Steve Henneberry.

The residence hall is also the first on campus to house greek chapters. Returning fraternity chapter Theta Chi and new sorority chapter Chi Omega signed one-year leases in June and have special entrances, meeting rooms and housing for members reserved in the hall.

The hall, originally intended to be all-greek campus housing, is meant to help less-established chapters recruit members and gain footing on campus, with the ultimate goal of increasing the University’s greek population.

The greek chapters in the residence hall will eventually move into their own houses to make space for less-developed chapters, and the replaceable Greek letters above each University Avenue entrance will be changed to accommodate the new tenants.

Theta Chi Chapter Advisor Steve Gehrke said the location of the residence hall will benefit the growing fraternity.

“It’s working out incredibly well for us,” he said. “It allows us to be close to greek life.”