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UT Tyler to Open Ornelas Residence Hall

August 2, 2006

Residence Hall

Editor’s Note: In keeping with UT Tyler's strong tradition of quality, many new and exciting university additions will debut this fall to further enhance the academic experience and campus life. In this series, we will take a look at some of those opportunities planned for the fall semester.

To accommodate The University of Texas at Tyler’s growing enrollment and continue the tradition of providing a vibrant student life, UT Tyler will open the Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Z. Ornelas Residence Hall this fall, Dr. Dale Lunsford, UT Tyler vice president of student affairs and external relations, announced.

Residents will begin moving into Ornelas Hall Friday, Aug. 18, which coincides with the first day of UT Tyler’s Freshman Orientation.

The $12 million, five-story facility will house 268 students. This will bring the total number of students living on campus to more than 800.

Enrollment at UT Tyler has increased 109 percent 1999 through 2005.

Ornelas Hall, which is located in the heart of the campus near the University Center and the Herrington Patriot Center fitness/recreation facility, includes a common area, study library, multipurpose room, coin-operated laundry room and card-accessed security doors to each suite and each of the eight wings.

Ornelas Hall has 62-double occupancy rooms and 48 three-bedroom suites. All rooms are furnished with a bed, dresser, desk and chair, small desk return and shelf unit.

“The study library houses computers, desks and a conference area for students to study and/or hold meetings,” said David Hill, director of residence life. “The multipurpose room has a movable stage, can hold classes, act as a theatre, serve as a TV lounge or open area for activities and has a small kitchenette.”

Located on the first floor is a computerized laundry room. Through a Web site, residents can check when a machine is in use, not in use and when their cycle is complete. A calendar of the laundry room’s peak usage times is also available for viewing.

“The building has three levels of security,” said Hill. “Students will use their UT Tyler P2 identification card to enter the two outside entrances, their individual wing and their suite door. In addition, exterior security cameras are in place and will be monitored by front desk staff.”

Ornelas Hall also has a live-in staff of eight resident assistants and a residence coordinator. The front desk will be staffed 24 hours each day.

“The vision of residence life is to keep students happy, healthy, housed and here,” said Hill. “In residence life, we focus on training the resident assistants to build relationships with their residents. Their job is to help them become accustomed to the university and have a good experience that makes them want to return to either on campus housing or at least to the university.”

This fall, 87 percent of students who lived in UT Tyler’s Patriot Village apartments last year have re-enrolled at UT Tyler, and at least half chose to continue living on campus.

Housing is available to all UT Tyler students. To apply for UT Tyler housing, fill out a general housing application at www.uttyler.edu/housing or in the housing office located in the University Center, room 250.

For more information, contact the UT Tyler housing department, 903.566.7008.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service.  More than 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 5,700 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.

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