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December 12, 2005

Farmingdale State Opens First New Residence Life Building In 35 Years

A ribbon cutting for Orchard Hall, Farmingdale State University of New York's first new residence life building in 35 years was held on Tuesday, November 8, 2005.Dr. Jonathan C. Gibralter, president of Farmingdale State, said "Opening Orchard Hall is a dramatic symbol of the College's growth. I know I echo the sentiments of the entire campus community when I say we are so proud to offer this beautiful, clean building to our students in which to live while they are students at Farmingdale State."

The building's name reflects the College's agricultural origins when it was founded in 1912.  The site was originally an orchard, used as a living laboratory by Farmingdale State students. A graduate of the College's Ornamental Horticulture program, who wishes to remain anonymous, has offered to replant the apple and fruit trees on the grounds adjacent to the building.

Designed by Urbahn Architects of New York and built by Kokolakis Contracting in Rocky Point, Orchard Hall will house 408 students. It features suite-style living, today's preferred style of living among college students.  Each floor has a full kitchen with lounge and a laundry room.  Temperature and climate control will keep energy consumption under control. According to Urbahn Architects, the building "meets the standards of the Governor's Executive Order 111, a sustainable designed program which mandates substantial energy efficiency and green design features." Fully wireless, cable ready and hard wired, students will be able to access the internet throughout the building.  To keep residents safe, the building was constructed with both an integrated fire alarm system and a state of the art security system.

Approximately 7 percent of Farmingdale State's student population lives on campus. That number is expected to increase with the availability of Orchard Hall and the renovation of older residence life facilities. To reinforce the idea that grades count, students with the highest grade point averages were given first choice of rooms. To continue to reside in Orchard Hall, each student must maintain a minimum of a 2.5 grade point average. Students will move into the new building later this week.

The College broke ground on the facility in May 2004. The building is part of a five year campus improvement and expansion program that will also include a state-of-the-art 1,000 seat baseball stadium, a new student union building and improved academic facilities.  The $100 million campus expansion is an effort to keep up with the growth that Farmingdale State has been experiencing over the past several years. Enrollment for the fall 2005 was at 101% of the College's target.

The first dorm built on campus was Ward Hall which served as a residence hall from 1916 until around 1956.  For photos of campus housing in the early days, go to www.farmingdale.edu/library/archives/campusbldgs.html.