Looking Back: KWA Expands Into Student Housing Construction

With KWA Construction’s 10th anniversary coming up in August, we want to take the time to reflect on where our company started and where we are now. Last month we highlighted Churchill Estates at Lake Highlands, our first venture into senior housing, which was completed in 2010. That same year we also took our first steps into another new-to-us multifamily product type: student housing. The echo boom experienced as the the children of baby boomers enrolled in college created a great need for new construction in the student housing arena. The number of high school seniors seemed to reach an all-time high year after year, and that trend was expected to continue for years to come. The time was right to dive in.

A group of Austin College alumni, desiring to make their alma mater even better, engaged KWA Construction to build two projects for upperclassmen simultaneously. The Village on Grand is comprised of several two-story, four-bedroom Victorian cottages. The Flats at Brockett Court is a three-story apartment building with two- and four-bedroom units.

Both unconventional of student housing design, The Village on Grand and The Flats at Brockett Court were built with an exterior façade that succinctly fit with the architectural heritage of the surrounding neighborhood’s Victorian-and Craftsman-influenced homes. Although still considered “on-campus” housing, both The Village on Grand and The Flats at Brockett Court give residents the perfect blend of “off-campus” independent living and friendly neighborhood community.

The Flats at Brockett Court adds another quality suite-style living option for junior-year students that must meet the three-year residency requirement. The Village on Grand is designed for senior-year students seeking independent-style living. Designed to be a “home-away-from-home,” each unit is equipped with a fully furnished kitchen, spacious living rooms and a washer and dryer. The units include several green features, such as energy-efficient appliances, showerheads, vinyl windows and light bulbs. In addition, sound mats and flooring insulation help conserve energy and indoor sound quality.

KWA selected the best materials to achieve the owner’s vision, all while completing the properties under budget. Both properties were finished out with durable, high-end finishes to ensure the longevity of the properties. In an effort to foster sophisticated community living, both The Flats at Brockett Court and The Village on Grand include outdoor living areas and common spaces perfect for studying and social gatherings. In addition, a significant amount of insulation was installed in the exterior shell and between bedrooms within each unit for ultimate sound protection.

Prior to this new construction, Austin College’s housing totaled 910 beds to serve its student population of approximately 1,350. The Village on Grand and The Flats at Brockett Court were the first student housing additions in eight years and increased residency by 182 total beds, 96 beds and 94 beds respectively.

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