Groundbreaking set for May 12 on new residence hall at UNG
(May 7, 2015) On May 12, the University of North Georgia (UNG) and Corvias Housing will celebrate the beginning of construction on a new, four-story residence hall on the Dahlonega Campus that will house approximately 536 students. The groundbreaking ceremony is planned for 2 p.m. near the intersection of West Main Street and Sunset Drive.
Scheduled to open in fall 2016, the new residence hall will be located at the intersection of West Main Street and Walker Drive in Dahlonega – across the street from the UNG Dining Hall. The project will bring the total number of residence halls on the Dahlonega Campus to nine, including Donovan Hall, Lewis Annex, Lewis Hall, North Georgia Suites, Owen Hall, and the military residence halls Liberty, Patriot and Gaillard.
Enrollment on the Dahlonega Campus has grown steadily from 3,863 students in fall 2001 to 6,648 students in fall 2014. Currently, UNG's Dahlonega Campus can house 2,230 students in on-campus housing, including 782 cadets. The new residence hall addresses a housing shortage on the Dahlonega Campus that currently means students – not including cadets – who wish to live on campus must participate in a lottery.
Dr. Janet Marling, vice president for student affairs at UNG, said the unique architecture and landscaping of the two-building residence hall will complement the west side of campus.
"The showstopper will be a rooftop programming space with amazing mountain views," Marling said. "More important to the students, the buildings are designed to foster community and will include creative meeting and study spaces. I am excited about the opportunities to enhance our residential campus experience this new residence hall provides."
The project is part of the University System of Georgia's (USG) statewide Public-Private Partnership (P3) initiative for on-campus student housing, which includes housing at UNG. The initiative is expected to help maintain the affordability of housing for students and improve the fiscal health of the USG by providing financial tools and resources while reducing student-housing debt by nearly $300 million.
"Quality, safe, affordable housing for students is our priority," said Chancellor Hank Huckaby. "We expect our initiative will generate innovation, operating efficiencies and best practices in student housing to improve the quality of the on-campus housing experience for our students."
The residence hall project at UNG is part of USG's plan for Corvias Campus Living to develop 3,683 new beds by fall 2016 and manage 6,195 existing beds of on-campus housing for nine institutions with the USG for the next 65 years.
"The unique setting of UNG has created an opportunity to develop equally unique housing that will offer students a one-of-a-kind living experience in the Blue Ridge Mountains," said Kurt Ehlers, managing director of Corvias Campus Living. "This housing will offer students unparalleled accessibility to university resources that only on-campus housing offers. Given UNG’s ties to the military and our own company background, this project is near and dear to our hearts and one that we’re very excited to get started on."
The former faculty housing located on the construction site has been donated to InterFaith Ministries Inc., a nonprofit charity. The four duplex apartments, originally built in 1964 as faculty housing, have been relocated elsewhere in Lumpkin County to be used as transitional housing for homeless families.
The residence hall in Dahlonega is one of two new buildings under construction this summer at UNG. On the Oconee Campus, work began in March on a $2.5 million annex that provides much-needed classroom and laboratory space. The annex is expected to be completed in fall semester 2015.