Rollins seeks approval for new 300-bed dorm on campus
The project, which will be up to six stories, will provide more campus housing, potentially reducing the number of students renting in nearby neighborhoods
Jan. 5, 2023
By Beth Kassab
Rollins College will seek approval from the city on two key projects next week — a 300-bed dorm on campus and an off-campus housing complex for faculty and staff.
The new dormitory project, which will replace the 80-bed Holt Hall and a portion of the Tennis Center, will about 140,000-square feet and is intended to provide more opportunity for students to live on campus. Rollins will continue to have the same number of undergraduates.
The liberal arts college is “not growing,” Vice President of Communications Sam Stark told the Voice last month as the Planning & Zoning Board approved the project. Undergraduate enrollment will remain at about 2,200 with about 230 faculty and 500 staff.
The City Commission will consider the new residence hall on Wednesday with one recommended condition from staff: architectural improvements and landscaping to help camouflage a maintenance building visible from Fairbanks Avenue.
The project will also be taller than many buildings in Winter Park, though city staff is arguing that the slope of the land lessens that impact.
“The site slopes downward from Fairbanks Avenue to Lake Virginia,” reads a staff report. “The buildings closest to the street are 4-stories in height and, as the land slopes downward, that allows added floors to be added to the 5-6 story sections. The building height complies with the 55-foot height as measured from the wall height for the tallest 6-story portion of the two buildings on
the southern portion of the complex. The roof pitch desired adds 10 feet in height. The building could stay within the height limit if it was a flat roof, but they desire to maintain the same roof pitch and Mediterranean roof styling that is characteristic of the campus.”
On Tuesday, the day before the City Commission meeting, the Planning & Zoning Board will consider a second Rollins project: a three-story, 80,000-square-feet project with 48 units of faculty and staff housing.
The proposal for the corner of New England and Virginia Avenues is an attempt by the college to provide workforce housing close to campus. The project would also include a coffee shop and a book store.
Under provisions laid out in city documents, Rollins would agree to keep the units as “affordable/attainable” housing for faculty and staff for 30 years; be prohibited from using the units as student housing and would keep the property on the tax rolls.