University of Minnesota - Rochester opens new student life center

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 6:46 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The former DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Rochester has a new look and function, supporting college students in Rochester.

The University of Minnesota Rochester is opening its student life center on Broadway Ave., in the heart of the city. This project has been years in the making and now its amenities will be fully available to the students to enhance their experience as they continue their academic journeys, according to university officials.

“I am thrilled and I am grateful. It’s such a responsibility to start a campus from scratch and to serve students. I think our principles are visually in action here, in the student life center, students are at the center, research informs practice, and partners make it possible.”

Chancellor of University of Minnesota of Rochester Lori Carrell

Amenities include recreational centers, updated modern dorm rooms as well as an indoor swimming facility. This space was previously known as DoubleTree by Hilton, which closed its doors in October of 2022. Former owner Andy Chafoulias explained at the time this was a difficult decision, but also mentioned how improved student housing would be a positive change for the community.

“There were a lot of factors to consider in making this decision,” Chafoulias said in Oct 2022. “I feel strongly in the value of repositioning the asset into student housing and the powerful and positive impact that it will have on the downtown core.”

The creation of this center both improves the conditions for the students as well as demonstrating the connection the university has with the city it calls home University of Minnesota Rochester Chancellor Lori Carrel said.

“This campus came into existence because of the community of Rochester working over many decades. It’s central to who we are, gratitude, and a commitment to contributing to this community that gave birth to us,” said Carrel.