SEATTLE — It's the biggest midyear housing switch the University of Washington has ever pulled off.
When they return to campus in early January, all 602 students who lived in the UW's high-rise Terry Hall last quarter will check into a brand-new home next door: Lander Hall.
The 60-year-old Terry will be demolished next year, part of a major redevelopment of the university's west campus.
"We had no shortage of people excited about living in a new building," said David Rey, communications manager for the UW's Housing & Food Services department. An additional 37 students from various other residence halls will move in, as well, since the new Lander building has space for 639 people.
Before it's torn down, Terry will be used one last time — as a Seattle Police Department SWAT team training ground for a few days in January.
Lander's opening is part of a $470 million residence-hall building boom remaking the southwest side of campus. Five new halls or UW-built apartment complexes have opened on the west side since 2011, and when Lander opens, it will be the sixth.
The old Lander Hall was torn down in summer 2012. After its next-door neighbor and near-twin Terry Hall is torn down, the block will become home to two new residence halls — another hall named Terry, and a second building named Maple.
Students — or perhaps more accurately, their parents — will pay more to live in the new building. A double room in the old Terry and in the UW's other old residence halls runs about $5,500 for the academic year. A double in the new halls will cost about $8,343 for the academic year.
Even though they're more expensive, there's a waiting list to get into the new halls, Rey said. "We have more people who want to live in them than we have space."
Terry residents are getting a $500 "inconvenience" credit for having to move midyear.
Before they left for winter break, students put all of their belongings in boxes, Rey said, and a moving company carted the boxes over to Lander by way of an underground tunnel that connects the two.
Cindy Wei, a junior and resident adviser in Terry, said students are looking forward to new study areas in Lander, which are larger and set up to accommodate study groups. The new lounges also include kitchenettes.
But she said students will miss that old-school opportunity to form friendships while sharing a common bathroom.
Rooms in all the new residence halls have private bathrooms.
The bathrooms help bring the size of the new Lander rooms to 302 square feet. The old Terry rooms were 178 square feet.
Private bathrooms are "the No. 1 amenity the students appreciate when they go from our legacy (older) buildings to new buildings," Rey said.
He said the new buildings also come with furniture that is easier to configure, which makes the rooms seem larger.
The buildings are being paid for through the university's Internal Lending Program, started in 2008, which allows the UW to borrow money for capital-improvement projects.
Husky Stadium also was financed through the lending program.
Over the coming years, the loans will be repaid through student housing fees.
Lander, which is 243,000 square feet, is costing $49 million to construct, and a total $78 million when design, management, demolition and furnishings are included.
The new Terry and Maple halls together will cost $123 million and will total 406,310 square feet.
The residence halls were named for two pioneering Seattle families who donated several acres of downtown Seattle property to establish the Territorial University of Washington in 1861 -- Charles and Mary Terry, and Edward Lander. (A third pioneering family, Arthur and Mary Denny, also donated land, and Denny Hall is named for them.)
The university still owns the original 10 acres of downtown property donated by the three families.
The Seattle Police Department's SWAT team and bomb squad will use the vacant building for training exercises for two days in January, said police spokesman Mark Jamieson.
But before that happens, the UW is holding a farewell event for Terry Hall from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 16.
Rey said the public is invited to come and look around one last time.
Visitors even have permission to write on the walls.