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Boise State Officially Breaks Ground on New Honors College

By: Sherry Squires   Published 12:26 pm / April 7, 2016

Boise State University celebrated the start of construction on a new $40 million Honors College and First-Year Residence Hall on April 7.

“We have changed significantly and dramatically as a metropolitan research university in the last few years,” said President Bob Kustra during a groundbreaking event. “This project happens because we have been successful … because our Honors College has grown and attracted students from Idaho and from far and wide … because our faculty and staff have made this one of the most exciting undergraduate experiences you can find in America.”

When completed in fall 2017, the new building will be an Honors-dedicated living and learning facility, combining housing for Honors and other students with dining facilities, classrooms and spaces designed to boost the student experience on campus. Located along University Drive across the street from the Student Union Building, the 236,000-square-foot building will offer 656 student beds.Rendering of Boise State's Future Honor's College Building

“(This building) puts us in a rare and select company of schools across the country that have a full living and learning community,” said Honors College Dean Andrew Finstuen. “Right in the heart of campus we have a building that will shout academic excellence.”

The new building will help accommodate significant growth in applications and enrollment in Boise State’s Honors College over the last three years. This year alone saw a 50 percent increase in Honors College applications, and the number of Honors College students has grown to nearly 600.

Sammy Walker, a junior chemistry major and president of the Honors Student Association, said the building will offer Honors students much-needed space to learn and gather.

“The Honors College is all about community,” she said. “Strong relationships are directly related to success.”

The new Honors College is Boise State’s first building that will be constructed and managed through a public-private partnership, saving tuition and tax dollars. Partner company EdR Collegiate Housing will build and run the facility without university taking on any debt that could affect its debt capacity or high credit rating.

Rendering of Boise State's Future Honor's College Building View 2“There’s not many universities that have embarked on this kind of program,” said EdR Chief Executive Officer Randy Churchey. “We know this one will be successful.”

EdR owns or manages more than 42,000 student beds across 77 communities.

Boise State’s Honors College has been a challenging and dynamic academic home for some of the university’s top students from all majors for nearly 50 years. It has helped make Boise State a top choice for high-performing students in Idaho and across the country. Learn more at

Watch progress on the new Honors College online at