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LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ-Construction has started for West Village, a new two-building, 48,000-sf student resident complex on the campus of Rider University here. Carrying a price tag of $13.4 million, the housing for more than 150 students, in a combination of apartments, suites and doubles, will be completed in June 2009.

“Rider is a residentially intensive university,” says school president Mordechai Rozanski. “And as our community grows, we want to respond to our students’ desire to live on campus. As a result, we’re committing our resources to this project, and I am eagerly anticipating the opening of these new residence halls.”

Designed by the Trenton-based Spiezle Architectural Group Inc., West Village is also being built and will be operated with sustainability in mind, according to university officials. One aspect is that horses are being used to clear standing timber on the development site, and the cleared timber will be recycled into the buildings’ construction.

“Instead of chipping them up and putting it in a landfill, they’ve got a contract with a sawmill,” local councilwoman Pam Mount said at this week’s groundbreaking event. “The finished planks will be returned and will be used in the construction of the buildings.”

Initial occupancy is slated for the 2009-2010 school year. “Using the horses,” says a Rider spokesman, “gets extra LEED points.”

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