Regents approve student housing at Georgia Gwinnett College

By this time next year, about 200 Georgia Gwinnett College students will be referring to the campus as "home," as students from across the northeast Georgia region move into the institution's first student housing facilities. These modern dorms will represent Phase I of student housing at GGC – now scheduled to be completed in August 2009 – just in time for next year’s fall semester.

Updated May 25, 2009: Student housing is scheduled to open in the fall of 2010.

By this time next year, about 200 Georgia Gwinnett College students will be referring to the campus as "home," as students from across the northeast Georgia region move into the institution's first student housing facilities. These modern dorms will represent Phase I of student housing at GGC – now scheduled to be completed in August 2009 – just in time for next year’s fall semester.

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved the ground lease and rental agreement for GGC's new student housing at their monthly Board meeting today, setting in motion the college's plan to break ground and begin building the first of five planned residence halls that eventually will house 1000 students in apartment-like "pods" within the various 3-4 story units.

A new structured parking deck that will allow for 985 vehicles also is in the plans and should be completed in tandem with the housing, which is scheduled to be finalized in 2010.

"This is yet another significant milestone in the college’s short history," Georgia Gwinnett College President Daniel J. Kaufman said following the Regents' board meeting. "The students who attend GGC now and our future students deserve to have affordable on-campus housing, and we are anticipating a positive reaction to the new residential halls."

Board of Regents Chairman Richard Tucker said that the resident halls will contribute to the overall interest in the college and will be an important factor as the University System meets the demands of the growing student population in Georgia.

"The Board was delighted to approve this outstanding plan to allow student housing at our newest college," Tucker said. "Student housing will contribute to the achievement of GGC’s goal of providing a comprehensive educational experience for its students."

These aren’t your mom and dad’s dorms either – with community showers and pay phones down the hall – this is 21st Century living at its finest. In fact they’re not dorms at all. Each of the resident hall apartments will house anywhere from 4 to 12 students and include living areas, fully-equipped kitchens and one bathroom for every two students, Maurice Blount, director of facilities at GGC said. Resident directors and advisors will live in designated quarters throughout the residential areas. The resident housing also will include seminar rooms where students can hold activities – fully integrating residence life into academic life.

"The resident housing is a critical piece in our retention, progression and graduation goals," said Dr. Stanley Preczewski, vice president for academic and student affairs. "We want these students to be educated here, make friends here and really achieve the across-the-board college experience. We believe that the resident halls we've envisioned and designed will contribute greatly to what our students are looking for in the 21st century."

The $80 million housing development and parking deck are part of a public/private venture in partnership with Place Properties and groundbreaking on the new facilities should take place later this year. Financing for the dorms initially will be provided in conjunction with the Georgia Gwinnett College Foundation; however ultimately will be paid for through lease fees from students.

College administrators also are planning to implement additions to the initial 200 units in subsequent years. Blount said that the college will add another 1,500 housing units and an additional parking deck following the completion of Phase I.

"Georgia Gwinnett College already has proven to be a boon to Gwinnett County," Wayne Mason, chairman of the GGC Foundation’s real estate committee said. "Adding the housing to the property is going to bring more interest to GGC and to the area. The enthusiasm for the college is overwhelming in our community and as the college grows I believe the fervor surrounding the home of the Grizzlies will grow as well."

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