President Hodge memo re: New residence hall location

Miami President David Hodge, after considering feedback and reassessing the recommendation for a residence hall at Patterson Place, on May 4 notified the university community that Miami will seek a different solution. His memo is below.

Dear Miami Community,
Last Friday the Board of Trustees passed a resolution authorizing further evaluation and pre-construction planning for a new residence hall to be located on the site now occupied by Patterson Place “assuming it continues to be recommended by the administration for approval.”  The rationale for this site is compelling: it would provide a huge step forward in meeting our sustainability goals by utilizing and expanding our geothermal infrastructure; it is well served by an existing dining facility; it is an excellent access point for students; it is very cost effective; and it can be completed in time to meet the urgent and critical demand for housing forecasted for the fall of 2017 and beyond.
However, we have also received extensive and thoughtful feedback about how construction on this site could seriously undermine our sense of place, our sense of self, and our sense of community.  These, too, are very important considerations for Miami’s future.  Therefore, after further assessment and in consultation with Vice President Creamer and Provost Callahan, I have reached out to David Budig, Chair of the Board of Trustees, to convey our decision not to proceed with the recommendation for the new residence hall on this site despite its compelling advantages.  We will work with the Board in advance of the June meeting to keep them advised as to other options.  I have also asked Vice President for Advancement Tom Herbert to create a fundraising plan to support the renovation of Patterson Place.
The decision to seek an alternate site will create significant challenges as we move forward.  There almost certainly will be additional costs and obstacles, and we will be challenged to meet our goals in the time frame before us.  We will move forward, however, as quickly, thoroughly, and collaboratively as possible to re-evaluate the best alternatives that will provide the highest quality experience for our students. 
Let me close by expressing my appreciation to all who provided feedback that contributed to this important decision.

David Hodge