EV New Grad Housing FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

* -- denotes new or updated information as of 1/12/2017

Work is progressing on the university’s plan to build four new residences with 2,400 bed spaces for graduate students in Escondido Village. The new buildings will be multi-story, ranging from six to 10 stories, and will house primarily single graduate students and couples without children. 

For suggestions, questions or concerns, please email R&DE at RDESAVPOffice@lists.stanford.edu.

Project Details

Student Residents

Construction

Next Steps

 

*What is the status of the proposed new graduate housing project?

Initial site preparation work is scheduled to begin January 2017.  Activities during this initial phase of construction will include tree removal, utilities work, installation of construction fencing, placement of directional signage around the perimeter of the project area, and building abatement and demolition.  Building construction is expected to commence in fall 2017 with completion in 2020 to 2021.

Is this development subject to Stanford's General Use Permit?

Yes. The university will soon submit an application to the county to increase the number of housing units that can be constructed under the 2000 General Use Permit. The 2000 GUP anticipated that additional housing might be needed and contains provisions for making a request to add units. The university’s remaining allowance for housing units is about 580 housing units. So we are applying to the county for permission to build an additional 1,450 housing units. Stanford is required to comply with all of the 2000 GUP conditions of approval and mitigation measures, including submission of a traffic study. Stanford also will seek Architectural and Site Approval for the project once it has been more fully designed.

Who in the University is responsible for this project?

This project is a collaboration of a number of University entities, including Residential & Dining Enterprises; Land, Buildings and Real Estate; and the Graduate Life Office.

Why is this project necessary?

Given the high cost of rents in communities around Stanford, we must provide better housing options to support quality of life for current graduate students at Stanford, and to allow the University to continue to attract the best students from around the world.

Today, Stanford only houses about 55 percent of the more than 9,000 graduate students in on-campus housing. The new residences, if built, could increase that number to at least 75 percent.

Project Details

*Where on campus will the new graduate housing complex be located?

The complex will be constructed in Escondido Village, along Serra Street and Campus Drive, between Thoburn Court and Escondido Road.

The project location was moved south within Escondido Village based on student feedback.  The current location allows us to preserve more of the valued courtyard neighborhoods. 

*How many students will the new complex accommodate?

The new complex will house 2,431 students, replacing approximately 400 bed spaces in lower density housing units with higher density housing (for a net of 2,017 additional new bed spaces), meeting a critical need for on campus housing.

*How tall will the buildings be?

The complex will include four buildings, each with a ten-story core and wings that are six and eight stories.

*How will the new complex affect traffic?

Completion of the new complex will allow us to relocate students living off campus to on-campus housing, so the effect should be positive by reducing the peak commute trips that are currently occurring. A traffic study was reviewed and approved by the County as part of the Architecture and Site Approval process. 

Will this new development be denser than projects in the past?

Yes, but projects such as the Munger Graduate Residence prove that you can have very desirable housing—even if it is denser—through careful planning, amenities, balancing open space and building, and designing with an architectural palette of materials. It’s important to remember that Stanford must be a good steward of its land, especially to allow for the academic development it needs to accomplish its mission of teaching, research and learning.

Why can’t the new housing be built in the area of the current Golf Driving Range behind Governor’s Corner; or in the area between Serra Street and Bonair Siding, in the area of Quarry Road; or elsewhere in Escondido Village that would not affect family courtyards?

Although the Stanford Campus is 8,000+ acres, only a small portion of this land is available for development. Within the available footprint, the University must address priorities of academics and research, undergraduate and graduate student housing, and faculty housing. Because of the limited space, the University looks to create more compact density, which this project would achieve.

Under the long range campus plan, the Driving Range, the sites on Quarry Road, and Bonair Siding locations are earmarked for purposes other than graduate housing. There is not sufficient space elsewhere within EV for a development of this magnitude. Since there is more family housing than needed, it makes sense to replace some of these family-style units with critically needed housing for single students and couples. This site is centrally located in EV, which provides an opportunity to create robust amenities that will be available for all Village residents. In addition, it is the least dense section of the Village and therefore requires the least overall loss of apartments and bed spaces. Constructing the project on this site will significantly address a critical need for on-campus housing by providing an additional 2,000 graduate student bed spaces, for a 40% increase in total number of graduates housed on campus.

*What kinds of amenities and services would be offered as part of the new complex?

The list of amenities for the new site was shaped by student feedback in the annual housing survey and in the various community meetings. Many of the features of the new housing (wellness, huddle, activity and other spaces designated for each building and spaces for the entire community) were suggested or confirmed by students. Examples include a computer cluster, community space, music room, aerobic and dance studio, maker space, outdoor volleyball and other activities, community garden, children’s playroom, game room, TV lounge and a pub. 

Will the new units have air conditioning?

No.

What will the monthly rates be?

The housing rates will be consistent with the rate levels for other recently constructed on-campus graduate housing.

When will construction begin and when will it be completed?

Initial site preparation work is scheduled to begin January 2017.  Activities during this initial phase of construction will include tree removal, utilities work, installation of construction fencing, placement of directional signage around the perimeter of the project area, and building abatement and demolition.  Building construction is expected to commence in fall 2017 with completion in 2020 to 2021.

Student Residents

Who will live in the new complex?

Residents will be single graduate students and couples, with first priority going to those single graduate students displaced due to the construction. The project will not house any families. Families will continue to be accommodated in the Escondido Village family courtyards.

Will Stanford increase the number of graduate students it enrolls as a result of this new housing?

That's not the intent of the project. The intent is to bring some of the more than 4,000 graduate student who live off campus back on campus.

How can I sign up?

It's too early in the process to being accepting applications for the new housing. The complex will be subject to considerable on-campus and off-campus reviews and approvals. It will likely be years before the complex is ready for occupancy. That said, priority for housing will be considered for the graduate students affected by the relocations from the demolitions.

If I am currently living in Stanford housing off campus, will I have a priority for housing in the new housing complex?

This is still under discussion.

*What has happened to the students who were moved out of the demolition zone?            

There were 207 students moved out of the demolition zone:  3 couples; 41 families; and 163 singles.  

No families were forced off campus as a result of relocation. Of the 41 families in the redevelopment area, six were relocated to Escondido South; 27 were relocated to other family neighborhoods within Escondido Village and eight were relocated to Oak Creek by their choice.  The three couples were relocated within Escondido Village, and the 163 single students were relocated across graduate housing.  Of these 163, 22 single students were relocated to Oak Creek.

All students and families were relocated at R&DE expense. We worked individually with each student to accommodate as much as possible their reassignment preferences, preferred neighbors and moving schedules.

Will there be sufficient family housing to meet demand after the demolition required for this project? Will the project result in the loss of some of the family courtyards?

Prior to construction, we have more family courtyard housing than we need today, and more than we anticipate needing for the foreseeable future. So, although the project will result in the loss of family housing in the Hoskins, Jenkins and Blackwelder courtyards, there is still plenty of family courtyard housing in Escondido Village.

Over the summer of 2016, R&DE renovated apartments in Escondido South, a neighborhood originally built for families that, due to lack of demand, has not housed families for some years. We held a series of community meetings in February at which these plans were discussed. Based on feedback we received from families and others, this renovation included a fenced-in play area and additional fencing to create safe play areas for children. Based on their need for access to these areas, families have been assigned to the interior courtyard spaces in this neighborhood.

*Will the new housing be available to postdocs?

We hope the project will provide relief to post-doctoral students, whether they are able to live on campus based on the priority levels for on-campus housing or whether they are able to take advantage of space vacated by graduate students moving on campus from off-campus apartments.

*Will children's play areas be lost during the process and will they be replaced elsewhere?

Yes, but the university hopes to create new spaces for child play and bike riding, plant a landscaped buffer, add playground and sandbox equipment and install low fences to separate small yards from streets.

Construction

*How will construction noise and dust be managed?

All construction on the Stanford campus must comply with state and local regulations, including measures to avoid construction dust. There would be, for instance, no construction during evening hours. Normal construction hours would be Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The measures would be similar to those instituted for the Kennedy Graduate Residences.

We recognize that noise can be a particular challenge, so our plan is to provide residents with information about the anticipated noise levels and locations, as well as information about how to contextualize those noise levels. We are working with a noise specialist to evaluate construction activities. That involves using detailed calculations for both buildings and courtyards, based on data from the Federal Highway Administration. Preliminary studies suggest that the construction noise from this project will not reach levels where hearing loss or damage need be a concern. That said, Stanford intends to be proactive in reducing noise during construction. For instance, the university plans to use precast construction technology and—where possible—line power rather than generators.

A website has been created to keep the community apprised of construction and impacts. This site includes email and telephone contact information for students and others in the community to ask questions and share concerns.

How will Stanford address other health risks associated with construction?

Stanford is doing its due diligence to make sure residents of EV, including families, will be protected during demolition and construction. For instance, the university is working with Ramboll Environ to conduct a health risk assessment that assesses risks from exposure to exhaust from construction equipment. The assessments use conservative assumptions and health-protective standards set by local and state agencies. Preliminary results show that potential risks in the surrounding community, including for children, would be far below these health-protective standards. It also bears noting that a significant portion of the off-road mobile construction equipment we plan to use will be equipped with Tier 4 emissions control. That’s the most stringent emissions standard currently available.

In addition, Stanford’s Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) will be involved in the demolition of the buildings. They have expertise in managing asbestos and lead-based paint abatement.  Local, state and federal regulations require compliance with strict protocols pertaining to lead-based paint and asbestos. The protocols are designed to protect both onsite workers and nearby residents. EH&S is well-versed in compliance with those regulations.

*Will there be replacement parking during the demolition/construction?

Stanford Parking and Transportation is maintaining a website with Transportation Updates for Escondido Village Residents. Parking closures will be phased in as the initial stages of the project begin, and will be especially tight during construction. For this reason, R&DE and P&TS advised students beginning last spring to avoid bringing a car to campus this fall if at all possible.

In August, R&DE and P&TS sent the following information to all graduate students in Escondido Village:

When construction of the new 2,400-bed EV graduate housing complex begins in mid- to late-October, parking options will understandably be more restricted and less convenient for EV residents.  In anticipation of these changes, EV residents will have limits on the number of ES parking permits they can purchase for the upcoming academic year.  Residents are strongly encouraged to learn about transportation alternatives and to consider not bringing a vehicle to campus.

  • Limit of one ES parking permit.  EV residents will be limited to one ES parking permit per registered student.  Households needing more than one ES permit will be allowed to buy permits for the west campus (WE) residential area, specifically for parking at Searsville Lot and Roble Field Garage.  Residents are encouraged to bike or ride Stanford’s Marguerite shuttle to these secondary parking locations.
  • Parking closures.  Once the construction fence is installed and construction begins this fall, all existing parking for EV residents who live adjacent to the construction site will be removed. This includes parking next to Hoskins House, McFarland House, Blackwelder House, Quillen House, Studio 2, and Thoburn Court lowrise buildings 91-94. 
  • Loading zones created.  There will be loading zones created to enable EV residents noted above to drop off groceries or other items, then park their vehicle in their designated parking locations. EV residents may want to bike or ride Stanford’s Marguerite shuttle between residences and more distant parking garages or lots.

Alternatives to having your own car on campus:

Why pay hundreds of dollars a year on parking and pay even more to maintain and drive your own vehicle only occasionally?  You could save significantly by reserving a vehicle only when you actually need one.  Stanford offers free and discounted resources to help you go car free:

  • Zipcar at Stanford. On-demand car sharing is conveniently located on campus and lets you reserve a car online or by phone 24/7. With over 60 Zipcars on campus, this is one of the most convenient alternatives to driving your own car, and you receive Stanford discounts.
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car on campus. The Enterprise Rent-A-Car branch on the Stanford Campus is located at Stock Farm Garage and offers discounted rates to members of the Stanford community. Stanford residents can register for $10 weeknight rentals.
  • Free Marguerite shuttle. Stanford's Marguerite shuttle is free and provides service around campus and to nearby shopping, dining, and entertainment. The service connects to the Palo Alto Caltrain station and the San Antonio Shopping Center.
  • Bay Area transit services. Find schedules, maps, and other information for Bay Area transit service, including Caltrain, VTA, BART, and more.
  • Thriving at Stanford [without a car] guide. Use this guide to find your way around the Bay Area, and you'll find you can thrive without a car.
  • Airport shuttle services. Private shuttles provide service between San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland airports and Stanford.
  • Bicycle program. With Stanford’s mild climate, flat terrain, and over 13,000 bike parking spaces on campus, biking is a great way to get around. Stanford’s award-winning bicycle program can help get you ready to ride.
  • Free trip planning services. Try Stanford’s do-it-yourself commute plan/trip request, or ask P&TS to create a custom transit and/or bike plan for you.

More information to come:

  • The introduction of new residential alternative transportation programs, including incentives, will coincide with the beginning of construction in the fall. Over the next two months, P&TS will announce details of the new alternative transportation incentives for EV residents who do not buy a parking permit.
  • Additional parking options or transportation changes for EV residents will be communicated if/when information becomes available.

If you have questions, please contact Parking & Transportation Services directly: 

Consider Stanford’s car-free resources as an alternative to bringing a car:  Free and discounted transportation programs.

R&DE and P&TS held a community update meeting on August 10, 2016 that focused on parking issues. We solicited student suggestions about, for example, the number and duration (10 minutes? 20 minutes?) of loading spaces in front of each residence.

P&TS promised to review the number and location of non-resident parking spaces in Escondido Village and possible locations to add new spaces to alleviate some of the difficulty. We agreed to monitor the situation closely and are open to revising our plans if new challenges arise. 

P&TS shared this update on November 28, 2016:

Dear EV Residents,

Thank you to those who have provided feedback and suggestions regarding parking options for Escondido Village (EV) residents.

We continue to consider and respond to suggestions and want to provide the following updates:

                  EV residents in couples and family housing may continue to have more than one ES permit per household. If you would like to extend your ES permit, please visit the P&TS office (340 Bonair Siding, Monday—Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. except holidays). You may extend ES permits through Aug. 31, 2017.

                  We have created a single place on our website to find transportation updates for EV residents. Please bookmark or refer to this page for the latest information:  Transportation Updates for Escondido Village Residents

                  We developed a new Escondido Village map showing parking options for EV residents once construction begins:  Escondido Village Parking Options Map

                  We have updated our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

In case you overlooked our recent article, you will find it at Update Regarding Escondido Village Parking During Construction (11/16/16).

Please let us know if you have questions, concerns, or suggestions. We can be reached at transportation@stanford.edu.

Best regards,

Parking & Transportation Services

transportation@stanford.edu |  650.723.9362

Next Steps

What are the next steps for this project?

R&DE is committed to robust and engaging dialog with students throughout the duration of this project. Here is how you can stay informed and share your thoughts:

  • Interested students should visit the project website at newgradhousing.stanford.edu for the project status and to sign up for automatic updates via email.
  • If you have questions or comments about the project, please contact us at newgradhousing@stanford.edu or at 650.721.8521.
  • R&DE will continue the dialog with students through periodic community meetings. Please be sure to read email from your Housing Front Desk for these announcements. We will also offer regular updates to the Graduate Student Council and the Graduate Housing Advisory Committee.