Kennesaw State University wants to build a new $37 million residence hall in an effort to address a shortage in on-campus housing.
One of the state’s largest universities, KSU wants to address a student housing shortage by building a 514-bed residence hall for freshmen adjacent to the Austin Residence Complex on Kennesaw State University Road, according to an agenda item presented to the Board of Regents Real Estate Committee Tuesday.
The dorm would have a mix of single- and double-occupancy units, with community and study spaces “geared towards the first-year experience,” KSU’s summary says.
KSU would seek to fund the project as a public-private partnership, and the project summary noted the $37 million cost would be “supplemented by a $2 million contribution from KSU auxiliary reserves to ensure student affordability.” KSU officials did not release more details on the dorm cost.
The new dorm would address a surge in demand for on-campus housing — especially freshmen. According to KSU, its wait list for housing for the current semester exceeded 1,500 students, 1,000 of whom are freshmen. A recent study indicates KSU needs to expand its housing to include an additional 1,400 beds on the Kennesaw campus.
KSU is the third-largest in the state with an enrollment of 37,807 students. The university welcomed about 6,500 new freshmen students this fall, which is a 30-percent increase from last year, the university said.
Dorm program spaces would be used to encourage resident students to bond with each other and their peers across campus. This, KSU says, would hopefully allow students to establish a connection with the university and bolster the chance they will remain enrolled though graduation.
KSU President Dr. Pamela Whitten said multiple studies show students who live on campus are more involved in university life and “express greater satisfaction with their undergraduate experience.”
“Living on campus is especially beneficial in helping first-year students transition to college life and build deeper connections with both peers and faculty members,” she said. “At Kennesaw State we are striving to accommodate all students who want to live on campus and call Kennesaw State their home away from home, which is why we are excited about this proposed new residential housing project.”
KSU spokeswoman Tammy Demel said details surrounding the cost, including how much private funding would be contributed, have not been determined because it’s too early in the process.
The Board of Regents will consider KSU’s proposal at a later date.
The University’s proposal noted it aims to open the new dorm by the fall semester of 2022.
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