Owen’s House starts construction at ODU


This is a design sketch of how Owen’s House may look when it is completed. Design may be subject to change. Courtesy of ODU Facilities Management.

By Natalie Hockaday, News Editor

Originally published February 17, 2019.

Owen’s House is now under construction and is planned to be ready by the year 2020.


“Programming for the facility began several years ago, probably at least four or five years ago,” said Chris Pewterbaugh, Project Manager for Owen’s House.


The new residence hall is planned to be five stories and hold 470 beds total within the building. This will be the biggest addition to the Roseann Runte Quad thus far.


“The fall project budget is in the neighborhood of 62.5 million dollars,” said Pewterbaugh.


Many have been wondering who the residence hall will cater to. Owen’s house will house Living Learning Communities (LLCs) that are considering focuses in STEM related programs. Since Owen’s House is housing multiple LLCs the building has plans to have two classrooms, collaboration and group study spaces, two project rooms and a faculty advisor office.


Security is a priority for the university and they plan on implementing different sets of access throughout the building. Only residents of the residence hall will have complete access of the building whereas students, faculty and staff will have access based on their needs such as for classroom access and workspace.


The university is still in the early stages of construction and are unable to predict how much this new building will cost students. Other factors such as who will be staying in the new residence hall and the type of furniture and interior design are still undetermined. However, the construction plans are still on schedule so far but can change over time.


The news about a new residence hall has been exciting for the campus, however, students like Dehja Davis have been impacted by the ongoing construction of Owen’s House.


“Well the noise kind of gets in the way of my studying. It is a big distraction. Also, the smell kind if messes with my nose,” said Davis.


The noises and smells are not the only things students are complaining about. Parking is an issue for them as well.


“ODU’s master plan has deliberately looked at making the center of campus pedestrian friendly and developing what used to be surfaced parking lots to support academic programs and additional on campus housing.


ODU has incorporated LEED which is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. One of the initiatives of this residence hall is to maintain environmental and energy efficiency. Other residence halls on campus have already adapted this and Owen’s House is expected as to be adapting “the latest version of LEED – v4, which focuses on materials – what’s in them and the effect those components have on human health and the environment. V4 evaluates water efficiency through total water usage and focuses on a performance based approach to indoor environmental quality and occupant comfort.”