Rice President Reginald DesRoches and Vice President for Finance and Administration Kelly Fox shared the following message with the university community in a May 19 email:
We are writing to share a significant milestone in our continuous efforts to enhance the physical infrastructure of our campus, aligning it with Rice's visionary goals and strategic direction. Over the next three years, we will embark on the design and construction of two new residential colleges, each with a capacity of over 300 beds, accompanied by a servery. This endeavor underscores our commitment to providing an exceptional living and dining experience for our university community and our commitment to the residential college system, which is a hallmark of the Rice student experience.
It is also in line with Rice’s Capital Excellence initiative, which aims to provide greater transparency to all stakeholders, support Rice's ambitious 2030 carbon-neutral goal and efficiently allocate resources to build spaces that cater to the diverse needs of our campus community.
The primary driver for these additions to our campus is the projected increase in undergraduate enrollment to 4,800 students by the fall of 2024. Building two additional colleges will help us get closer to our goal of housing 80% of our undergraduate population on campus. We recognize the importance of providing a vibrant, inclusive and supportive residential experience for our students, and these new colleges will play a crucial role in realizing that vision.
A thriving residential community fosters deeper connections, enhances collaboration and contributes to a more well-rounded college experience. We are committed to ensuring the new colleges are thoughtfully designed to meet the evolving needs of our campus community. The colleges and new servery are expected to be completed by fall 2026.
The demolition of Old Sid Richardson College is part of this project. While we cherish the memories associated with this structure, the decision was made to pave the way for a more modern, sustainable and student-focused environment that aligns with our long-term objectives.
This is an exciting development for Rice and for our campus community. Together, we are building a future that embraces innovation, sustainability and inclusivity, providing an exceptional educational and residential experience for all of our undergraduate students.
Thank you for your continued support and commitment to our university's mission. Additional information will be provided as the timeline for this project evolves.