June 29, 2004
04-89

Charles Harmon Director of University Relations

"Centennial Hall" is focus of VSU's $35.6 million new studenthousing and renovation project

Valdosta State University, in direct response to the number one finding and priority of its two year Strategic Planning Initiative, ceremonially broke ground today for a privately funded $35.6 million new student housing and renovation project. Pending University System of Georgia Board of Regents approval, the Phase I building will be known as ?Centennial Hall East,? honoring VSU's upcoming Centennial celebration in 2006. The hall is on a fast track to open at the start of Spring Semester 2005. The facility will house 348 beds and be the first of two new buildings totaling 518 beds. The second building, ?Centennial Hall West,? is scheduled to be completed for the beginning of Fall Semester 2005. Both new buildings will be located on eight acres of land on Sustella Avenue, adjacent to VSU's Student Recreation Center. In addition, the overall project includes the renovation of two existing residence halls, Lowndes and Patterson.

?Our Strategic Planning Initiative and the hard work of so many people and agencies are bearing fruit,? said VSU President Dr. Ronald M. Zaccari. ?This is a landmark day in the history of Valdosta State as we implement the first piece of the strategic planning process.?

Noting the housing project is being entirely financed privately, Zaccari especially praised the partnership role of the Board of Regents, the Valdosta Housing Authority, and the trustees of the Valdosta State University Foundation, Inc., for making the project happen. The VSU Real Estate Foundation I, LLC is authorized by the Board of Regents to lease the land and be responsible for the development, construction and financing of the project. Valdosta State University, through its Office of Auxiliary Services and Housing & Residence Life Office, will provide overall management services of the housing.

The renovation of Lowndes and Patterson Halls will include mechanical, electrical and fire safety upgrades as well as updated bathrooms, new exterior windows and various other interior finishing improvements. Lowndes will be taken offline at the close of Fall 2004 Semester and will reopen in August 2005. Patterson Hall will be taken offline in August 2005 and will reopen for Fall Semester 2006 after renovation.

The overall new and renovated housing project spans two years. It includes 1,015 on-campus beds of housing, student support facilities and site amenities.

Ambling Companies, Inc. was selected as the developer of the housing project with architectural services being provided by IPG Architects for the renovation efforts and Niles Bolton Architects for the new portion of the project. Construction services are being provided by Juneau Construction for the renovation efforts and by Ambling Construction Company for new construction.