Although a bit late, students began moving into a new, $20 million residence hall on the Menlo College campus on Friday, September 16.
The dorms, dubbed John Arrillaga Hall, are Atherton’s first private college new building on the 1000 El Camino Real campus in over 45 years. School officials, who previously said the project was funded by anonymous donors, now acknowledge that Arrillaga helped fund it. The three-story, 57,267-square-foot hall joins the list of many buildings in the area named after the late philanthropist John Arrillaga.
There were two major donors and a significant number of smaller donors who also played key roles in assembling funding for the project, Jessica Berger, the school’s communications director, said in an email. The second main donor chooses to remain anonymous, she said.
“It is with the future of students in mind that the college, with an extensive partnership with donors, is beginning to move students into this new residence hall. We are excited for more students to enjoy the benefits of the residential college experience,” said Menlo College President Steven Weiner. in a report.
The school opened its sixth halls of residence in May 2021 and expected it to be completed by April 2022. The delays were due to supply chain issues and unforeseen complications in securing utility connections, Berger said.
The T-shaped ward has 141 double rooms, plus six single rooms for Resident Advisors for a total of 288 beds. The building includes communal kitchens, game rooms and lounges on each floor, Weiner said. The room is also fully ADA compliant.
The new room will be gender neutral on all three floors. There will be single-sex bathrooms on each floor. Incoming freshmen primarily live in the new residence hall, according to the school’s website.
The building does not replace any existing infrastructure in Menlo, which was established in 1927, but takes advantage of the space available in the middle area of campus where the residence halls are located.
John Arrillaga Hall is located in the middle of Kratt, Michael, and Howard halls in the center of campus. With its sand-colored exterior, it is similar in style to neighboring buildings. According to the school’s 2019 master plan, there were 584 beds in five halls of residence and an immediately adjacent building across El Camino Real available to students.
The approximately 100-bed O’Brien Hall will be closed for the entire school year for maintenance and repairs, according to the school’s website.
Weiner said: “Arrillaga improved so many communities, and one of his last acts of generosity in his life was to ensure that Menlo business and psychology students had affordable housing in an area increasingly expensive environment.”
Room and board is $8,125 for a double-occupancy dorm this school year, according to the school’s website. Double-occupancy dorms in other residence halls on campus cost $6,750 per year.
City Housing Goals
Housing will not count towards the state’s 2023-31 Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) targets for Atherton, city planner Lisa Costa Sanders said at a town meeting in 2021.
“Student housing, particularly dormitories, do not count toward the city’s RHNA housing output because they are not considered permanent housing,” Costa Sanders said in an email dated May 17, 2021. “For To be counted as a living unit, each unit must contain cooking facilities, a bathroom and a sleeping area. Dormitories do not include cooking facilities and a bathroom with each bedroom.”