April 28, 2017 - With more than 100 people on hand to celebrate, the university broke ground on UNC Asheville’s new residence hall which will become home to 294 students in the fall of 2018. The project will increase the amount of on-campus housing by 20 percent.
“For me, this new residence hall means community and home,” said Tim Hussey, 2017-18 president of the Student Government Association (SGA). “Living on campus has granted me the opportunity to know what’s going on and how I can get involved. … There’s a feeling of family here that cannot be duplicated off campus. In these halls are where some of my closest relationships are formed and I hope that proves to be true for the future students who will live in this new residence hall. Residence life provides a sense of family away from your family, and being able to rely on the support of others around is and always will be a crucial part of residence hall life.”
Students have played an active role in planning the new residence halls and the coming renovation of Highsmith Union, both reviewing plans on campus and touring other campuses to gain ideas. Outgoing SGA President Charlie White noted that that students were very excited when they got a chance last week in Highsmith Union to try out furniture samples and vote on which ones they preferred. White and Hussey both will have graduated by the time construction is completed in the summer of 2018, but as Hussey put it, “I can’t wait to return as an alum and see the results.”
Bill Haggard, vice chancellor for student affairs, underscored the importance of adding more on-campus housing to help meet housing demand on campus and in Asheville. “However, this project is not just about students having a place to sleep,” he said. “This is a collection of residence halls that will be living and learning communities – an environment designed to build community, support student success, and offer an apartment-style opportunity which has been missing from our on-campus living options.”
North Carolina Representative Brian Turner, Asheville Vice Mayor Gwen Wisler, UNC Board of Governors Chair Louis Bissette and UNC Asheville Board of Trustees Chair Pat Smith all took to the podium to share their excitement about the project.
Chancellor Mary K. Grant also offered thanks to the many individuals on campus working on the project. “It takes many hands to put this together, and here we are. My hat’s off to all of you – you’re all such gracious teammates who always come back with good ideas and I thank you for that,” she said. “This is an institution that is on the move and it does so on a strong foundation that so many of you have built.”
For complete information on UNC Asheville current construction projects, visit facilities.unca.edu/construction
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