This presentation is an examination of the pilot year of the Healthy Lifestyles Living Learning Community (HL LLC) substance-free housing option for incoming first year students sponsored by The Center for Students in Recovery at The University of Texas at Austin. Presenters will contextualize the history and unfulfilled need for recovery and sober student housing on the UT Austin campus, and will explore the development and implementation of a sober dorm from inception through the end of year one. Attendees will hear a candid assessment of expectations versus realities across multiple domains, including: the application process; selection of an initial cohort; the design and implementation of programming; the challenges of group cohesion and resident assistant empowerment; budget constraints; overall lessons learned; and considerations moving into year two.