Structure to put freshman students in heart of campus
Belmont University held a topping out ceremony today for a new 103,000 square foot residence hall in the center of campus. The as-yet-unnamed six-story building will provide housing for approximately 400 freshmen when it is completed this summer, prior to the start of the fall 2010 semester. The new residence hall will be connected via an underground tunnel to Maple Hall, another freshman residence which opened last year. All of the new residential space is needed to accommodate Belmont’s rapidly growing enrollment which has increased by more than 80 percent since 2000. In addition to offering more housing space, the new facility will provide a unique living-learning community lifestyle by putting all first-year students in the heart of campus.
“Belmont University continues to grow at a remarkable rate,” Fisher said. “It’s important that Belmont remains student-centered, placing our students’ needs first even as we experience significant enrollment increases. This new residence facility guarantees that Belmont will provide a unique and innovative space to welcome incoming classes into the heart of campus.”
Belmont’s enrollment has increased by more than 80 percent since 2000, with the fall 2009 enrollment topping 5,400 students. The structure will complete the university’s vision to house all first-time students in the center of Belmont’s 75-acre campus. The close proximity to one another and to all academic buildings will provide an ideal learning community for incoming freshman classes. In fact, the new structure will include classroom space on the bottom level to accommodate First Year Seminar courses.
Provost Dr. Marcia McDonald added, “Creating a community for our freshmen at the core of campus will enable us to enhance our living-learning experiences. We anticipate opportunities for extended student-faculty dialogues and exchanges around our innovative First Year Seminars, most of which will be taught in classrooms in these residence halls.”
Nashville-based architect Earl Swensson Associates—the same company that designed Belmont’s Curb Event Center and the Gordon E. Inman Center—is overseeing building plans. R.C. Mathews is the contractor on the year-long project.