Tooker House offers tech-friendly living for ASU engineering students

The new dorms feature Amazon Echo, 3D printers and more

Tooker House, the newest engineering residential community on ASU's Tempe campus, opened to students at the beginning of the fall semester touting a tech-enabled lifestyle. 

The seven-story building houses 1,600 undergraduate engineering students and two classrooms, which come equipped with 3D printers and laser cutters for student use.

An Amazon Echo can be found inside the dorms of each resident that chooses to receive the donation from Amazon.

“Tooker House is fully Wi-Fi accessible with enough bandwidth to accommodate up to 1GB per resident – including the Amazon Echo Dot devices donated to each student who has chosen to participate in the program that launches this fall through a collaboration between Amazon and ASU,” said Bradley Bolin, the assistant director of residential life, in an email statement.

“The collaboration, which includes an 'Ask ASU' feature that offers services related to the Fulton Schools and the University through the Echo Dot, makes Tooker House a first-of-its-kind community with voice-activated technology,” Bolin said. “The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering is always looking for ways to stay on the cutting edge of technology and provide opportunities to enhance student learning.”

The residential community of Tooker House also comes equipped with a fitness center, dining hall, community kitchens and six academic success centers. 

Bernard Pettus II, a computer science freshman, said he enjoys living in the Tooker House complex, but that he dislikes what he said are small rooms and low water pressure.

“This is okay. It’s not perfect, and I’d assume they have to work on stuff.” Pettus said. “Having everything so close together is the best part about it.”

Pettus said that while he appreciates having the Amazon Echo in his room, it does not add much to the overall experience and that some of the drawbacks come from technological issues.

“They advertised heavily on the washing machines and the dryers having notifications on your phone, but those don’t work at all,” Pettus said.

Prabhav Pathak, a mechanical engineering sophomore, said that even though the accessibility of living on campus is great, it is hard to overlook some inconveniences of life in Tooker House.

“Considering you have 1,600 people living in this dorm, you would think they have drinking water on every floor,” Pathak said. “My roommate and I went to Walmart to buy three months supply of drinking water so that I don’t have to go back to the gym again and again.”

Pathak said one of the most difficult things about living in Tooker House is maintaining his vegetarian diet because not many options are available in the dining hall located within the community.

“Overall, with the price, I don’t think the rooms are worth it,” Pathak said.

Alexandra Hawes, an astronautical engineering freshman, said she lives off-campus because of the cost of living in Tooker House.

“With the required meal plan, Tooker House would cost roughly $12,000 for a year,” Hawes said. “Choosing not to burden myself with student loans, it made more sense to invest in off-campus housing.”

Hawes said although Tooker House is a beautiful residential community, she does not feel like she is missing out on anything because of her off-campus living.

“I am a very social person, so I don’t need the dorms, and I am also utilizing the libraries, study halls and tutoring often,” Hawes said. “I have made the more affordable, convenient choice, and I'm very pleased with my decision, believing that dorm living is not the key to my college experience.”

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