Columbus State Breaks Ground on New 539-Bed Freshman Housing Building
COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University officially broke ground Monday on a new student housing project that will add 539 new freshmen beds to campus by the fall 2016 semester.
University System of Georgia Chancellor Henry “Hank” Huckaby joined Columbus State University Interim President Tom Hackett for the ceremonial groundbreaking on Clearview Circle, the site of the new complex that will overlook CSU’s main campus.
Columbus State University is one of the first beneficiaries of a University System of Georgia (USG) partnership with Corvias Campus Living for a Public-Private Partnership (P3) initiative for on-campus housing. As part of the initiative, 3,733 beds will be built on seven different USG campuses.
CSU’s housing will be traditional freshmen housing, designed to aid the university’s efforts at retention, progression and graduation. Research has shown community living for freshmen helps them build connections with each other and the university, improving their social and academic adjustment to college life.
“Columbus State University has some amazing housing options on this campus, with apartments on main campus and lofts downtown,” Hackett said. “This new building will add to those options with a complex designed specifically for freshman that encourages interaction with other students and the campus. The ultimate goal is to help our students thrive academically, socially and emotionally.”
The multi-story, 121,000-square-feet, building will be the closest student housing complex ever built to main campus and will take over the inside area of Clearview Circle. One temporary building on the site, called Clearview II, will be removed.
CSU’s project is expected to cost about $25 million, paid for by Corvias, the company the USG partnered with to build new, safe, quality and affordable options for on-campus students across the state.
At Columbus State, the project will feature:
-539 beds, plus a Residence Life Professional and a Faculty in Residence Apartment.
-All student suites will be 2 bedroom/2 bathroom with double occupancy bedrooms.
-Large common area spaces include gaming and programming areas on each floor with smaller study spaces on each wing.
-Two full-size community kitchens, 3 community laundry areas, and a vending area on the first floor.
-Space for CSU Residence Life Offices, which will relocate to the first floor of the building.
It has historically been a challenge for individual campuses to build and finance large projects such as student housing and keep costs affordable. The P3 initiative will help keep the cost of student housing provided by our colleges and universities low and affordable, Hackett said.
Statewide, Corvias Campus Living is funding $548 million dollars to build the new housing and to retire the debt on the existing housing (including the existing CSU housing complex now known as Courtyard I). About $325 million will be used to retire the University System’s existing debt on current, existing student housing included in Phase 1.
Under the agreement with Corvias Campus Living, the university owns the land where the complex will be built. Corvias will finance, construct and maintain the building, allowing the university to focus on residence life services and security. The goal of the partnership is to ensure that students have a positive on campus living experience that is conducive to academic success.
“We’re extremely excited to break ground here today on a project that will dramatically improve quality of life for students at Columbus State,” said John Picerne, Founder and CEO, Corvias Campus Living, who was also at the groundbreaking. “We’d also like to commend the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia for being the first state system to enter into a P3 to privatize housing for a portfolio of campuses. Ultimately, we believe that their innovative thinking is going to change the way student housing is funded, managed and sustained, not just in Georgia, but across our nation, which will improve quality of life for students everywhere.”