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Belmont Celebrates ‘Topping Out’ Ceremony for New Residence Hall

Structure named in honor of Board of Trustees Chair Marty Dickens

Dr. Fisher, Betty Dickens and Marty Dickens participated in the Topping Out ceremony.

Belmont University celebrated the official “topping out” today for a 297-bed residence hall and 562-car underground parking garage being constructed on the southeastern corner of campus near the intersection of 15th and Bernard Avenues. The new building, Dickens Hall, is being named in honor of long-time Belmont Board of Trustees Chair Marty Dickens, the retired president of BellSouth/AT&T-Tennessee. The hall, which will house upperclassmen, offers unobstructed views of the Nashville skyline from its top floors.

Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “I can’t think of a better person to honor in naming this new building than Marty Dickens. This hall’s top floors will offer some of the finest views of Nashville to be found in the city, which is incredibly appropriate as Marty’s significant impact can be felt in the lives of individual students here at Belmont as well as throughout the broader Nashville area through his extensive community service. This hall, and the perspective it offers on our city, reflects the great vision Marty Dickens provides to Belmont and Nashville—we are so grateful for his leadership.”

Click here to view the topping out ceremony.The topping out marked the completion of the concrete structure for the nearly 110,000 square foot residence hall (Phase One) and a three-level underground parking garage. That underground garage actually stretches nearly twice the length of the initial building, and construction on Phase Two of the project is expected to begin in March, which will provide an additional 190 beds for occupancy. The need for additional residence space comes as a result of significant enrollment expansion from 2,976 students in 2000 to more than 6,300 in 2011-12.

View of downtown Nashville from the top floor of Dickens Hall.

As part of Belmont’s ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability, the new facility is incorporating a number of “green” features including a variable flow refrigerant HVAC system, a partially landscaped covered garage area in front of the building, motion sensors on residence room lighting and energy efficient lighting and appliances. The residence hall is also being built within the same footprint of a previously developed campus site; a 56-bed complex was razed, and its debris recycled, to make way for a building plan that will ultimately house nine times that many students.

Designed by EOA Architects with construction by R.C. Mathews, the suite-style residence hall will be completed and ready for occupancy by fall 2012.

Marty Dickens retired from BellSouth/AT&T-Tennessee in 2007, after being employed by the company for 38 years. In addition to chairing Belmont’s Board of Trustees and serving as Board Chair of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee, Dickens is also lead director of Avenue Bank-Tennessee, a member of Genesco’s board, chair of the Music City Center Authority and chairman of the board of Harpeth Companies. He has also served on the boards of a number of charitable and community organizations including the Boy Scouts, PENCIL Foundation, Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music, Family and Children Services, Adventure Science Center and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.