Tree House Dorms, Yurt Classrooms Planned for Both Campuses

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

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Bastyr has announced plans to build a complex of tree-house dormitories and yurt classrooms at each campus.

An artists rendering of the upcoming tree house student housing and yurt classrooms.

To accommodate a growing student population and to honor the University’s commitment to sustainable development, Bastyr has announced plans to build a complex of tree-house dormitories and yurt classrooms at each campus. Additionally, the school will be adding hot air balloons to its transportation services as well as the option to rent hang gliders for those living in the tree houses.

“What better way to learn about the healing power of nature, than to live in a tree?” said Kelsey Asplin, a naturopathic medicine student at the Kenmore campus. 

A Tree House Village will be built into stands of native trees at Bastyr’s Kenmore and San Diego campuses, with space for about 30 students in each village. Each lofted room will have a rope ladder for convenient entry and exit and a cozy shared living space will be in the base of each tree. 

Students will generate electricity and heat for the village while riding stationary bikes in class.

“This will allow our students to truly get in touch with nature,” said Bastyr University President Daniel K. Church, PhD. 

A tree house village is proposed for each campus.

Facilities Director Daniel Clark is working closely with top environmental engineers to ensure the trees, and students living inside, stay happy and healthy. It’s been a longtime dream for Clark.

“I once saw a commercial for cookies where an elf lived in the tree trunk, and thought, wow, what a great idea,” he said. 

Megan Johnson, head of transportation services, said that hot air balloon rides will be a great addition to Bastyr’s van shuttle service.

Unfortunately, due to fire safety concerns, there will be no kitchens in the tree houses. Students will have access to nearby campfire pits to prepare their food. 

Construction is expected to begin in summer 2015.