The University of Houston awarded a $50 -million, undergraduate-housing construction project to Hardin Construction Co., an Altanta-based company with a branch in Austin.

The seven-story, 300,000-sq-ft building on the university’s central campus will accommodate incoming freshmen and represents the university’s goal to increase the campus residential population and, ultimately, to house the entire first-year class in campus residences.

The facility will include rooms for 1,172 beds, resident advisor offices, a social lounge, computer lab, multi-purpose rooms, fitness room and a convenience store.

It is the first time since 1970 that a residential facility will be dedicated specifically for freshmen, according to university officials. Construction began in June and is scheduled for a fall 2010 completion.