CORVALLIS - A groundbreaking ceremony for the first new residence hall at Oregon State University in nearly 30 years will be held on Tuesday, July 17, at 1 p.m. on the OSU campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Construction on the new building should begin with a week of the groundbreaking, according to Tom Scheuermann, director of University Housing and Dining Services at OSU. The contractor for the project is J.E. Dunn Construction, Northwest of Portland.

The ceremony will be held on the lawn east of Finley and Bloss Halls, and the Arnold Dining Center. Bloss Hall, built in 1972, is the most recently constructed OSU residence hall.

The new building, when completed in the fall of 2002, will be a four-story, L-shaped facility that will house about 210 students in suites and apartment-like rooms. The hall will also will include a staff apartment and a faculty apartment - each with three bedrooms and a private entrance. "We are very excited about getting this project under way," Scheuermann said. "This new residence will not only provide an additional place to live for our growing OSU student population, it will feature a unique housing design in terms of both outside appearance and inside space and comfort.

"On the outside, it will have more of a residential look," Scheuermann added, "while the suite arrangement will be a nice balance between community living and individual student privacy."

Representatives of University Housing and Dining Services will be at the groundbreaking to discuss the construction timeline, architecture of the new building, and community living concepts.