In a ground-breaking ceremony held earlier today, Belmont’s senior administration announced that the university is starting construction on a new campus residence hall, which will serve as housing for 190 freshmen when the building is completed next fall. The facility, which is anticipated to cost approximately $12 million, will be located behind Hail Hall and will face the current soccer field.
With plans for continued student growth in coming years, the new residence hall will help meet the university’s need for increased housing capacity on campus. Belmont’s enrollment has increased by more than 60 percent since 2000, with current enrollment of more than 4,750 students, making it the second-largest private university and largest Christian university in Tennessee. Full-time undergraduate enrollment has increased by more than 1,500 students in the past seven years, and the university’s out-of-state student draw has grown by nearly 75 percent during the same time frame. Having more students coming from outside the state of Tennessee brings more student diversity and necessitates more on campus housing options.
Dr. Robert Fisher, Belmont University president, said, “With the completion of this new residence hall, we will be consolidating our freshmen at the core of campus, creating a strong sense of community and an opportunity for an even greater shared learning experience.”
The residence hall represents the cornerstone of a larger vision that will entail at least three buildings in the center of the university’s 62-acre campus, all intended to house first-time students. The five-story residence hall is scheduled to open in August 2008. The close proximity to one another and to all academic buildings will provide an ideal learning community for incoming freshmen classes.
Nashville-based architect Earl Swensson Associates—the the same company that designed Belmont’s Curb Event Center and the Gordon E. Inman Center—will oversee building plans, which currently have the residence hall similar in style though taller than Hail Hall. R.C. Mathews will be the contractor on the year-long project.