OGDEN -- Kelsie Godfrey peered through open doorways in the new Weber State dormitory -- the place she will call home when school starts later this month.
"I heard about the open house and I came to check it out," said Godfrey, an incoming freshman with a microbiology major. "It's super nice. I really like the room setup."
Godfrey will make the move from her hometown of Rigby, Idaho.
"Now with two exits," she said of Rigby, laughing. "Ogden is bigger, so I wanted to stay in the dorm at least my first year."
Minutes earlier, dignitaries and donors wearing purple feather boas had gathered with the public for an official door-opening ceremony for the three-story, $20 million building -- the second of three that will make up Wildcat Village. Residence Hall One opened in August 2011, and Hall Three, to be built on land still being cleared, will open in August 2013.
"This is one of our most transformative projects," WSU President F. Ann Millner said. "This will give residents the opportunity to really be involved in the life of the university."
Residential students being so close and involved with the heart of campus will energize their fellow students who live off campus, Millner said, and that level of excitement will energize the community.
The 220-bed Stewart Wasatch Hall was named in honor of a $5 million donation by the Stewart Education Foundation. Previously known as Hall Two, Stewart Wasatch will be the largest hall at Wildcat Village at 88,480 square feet. Hall One is 48,400 square feet, and Hall Three will be 25,270 square feet.
Stewart Wasatch Hall will contain food-on-demand facilities to accommodate students who live at all three halls.
Other features of Stewart Wasatch Hall include places to bring students together, such as billiards and shuffleboard areas, and big-screen TVs. A fitness area has cardio equipment and resistance machines. A fire pit and sand volleyball court are outside.
Learning and study areas include places for on-site lectures and tutoring. Two Living Learning Communities will serve Wildcat Village this year. An outdoor LLC will plan rafting and ski trips, among other things. A cultural LLC will plan to attend plays and other arts events.
Dorm technology includes motion-sensor lighting and energy-usage monitors. Each floor has kitchenettes, and gas grills are located outside. Rooms have bathrooms, and suites have kitchenettes.
Residence rates per person for the academic year are $3,150 for a double and $3,790 for a single with a shared bath. That does not include the required food plan.
Godfrey was impressed by the amount of storage space in the streamlined desks, and the fact that she and her roommate each have a closet rod for hanging clothes and won't have to argue about the distribution of space.
"The space is really efficient, and I kind of like the fact that nobody else has slept here."
Godfrey's mom, Lynnette Clark, was happy to see the accommodations and the support system that will back Godfrey on her first move away from home.
"I think it's amazing," Clark said. "When you think of the word dormitory, you think old and drab. This has nice social areas, is well-built, has easy access to the campus and is earthquake compliant."
Alumna Natalie Hardman, class of 2011, said Stewart Wasatch is better than the dorms her friends lived in when she attended Weber State.
"It's so much nicer and has a more open feel," the Ogden resident said.
Melissa Robbins, of Ogden, is excited to move in.
"It has a great atmosphere and lots of activities for students," said Robbins, who is studying elementary education. "I'm excited about all the new opportunities."