Two Oaks provides 418 living spaces for upperclassmen
Belmont University celebrated today the opening of its biggest residence hall, Two Oaks, with a ribbon cutting ceremony. This weekend, 418 upperclassmen students will move into the 139,000-square-foot building’s mix of apartment-style and suite-style rooms. Two Oaks has a larger square footage and holds a dozen more beds than the University’s 12 other residence halls. In addition to residential space, the project includes the expansion and extension of the Thrailkill Garage to accommodate an additional 352 vehicles. The need for additional residential and parking space comes as a result of Belmont’s significant enrollment expansion from 2,976 students in 2000 to nearly 7,000 last fall.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “This new campus residential space is a perfect launching pad for our students as they begin to engage and transform the world. Having these additional students located at the core of campus will enliven and enrich our entire Belmont community.”
The building is named for two large oak trees on the site that provide natural beauty and shade to the building and courtyard. The new hall’s footprint was designed to save the trees as Belmont continues to emphasize environmental sustainability with this construction. The facility also uses a high-efficiency drip irrigation system, water-saving faucet aerators and low ‘e’ insulated glass as well as energy efficient lighting, appliances and mechanical systems.
As the University focuses on student centeredness, Two Oaks fuses academics and lifestyle with a common study area on each floor with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a courtyard. The lowest level includes two multipurpose rooms to accommodate classes and group meetings. Apartments on the building’s north end feature an incredible view of the downtown Nashville skyline from the living room spaces.
“With a picturesque view of the Nashville skyline from its top floors, Two Oaks allows Belmont to continue to offer its students prime real estate for living and learning space without leaving campus,” said Assistant Dean of Students for Residence Life Anthony Donovan.
Designed by EOA Architects and built by R.C. Matthews, the total construction cost for the project is $36.6 million.The residence hall represents one of three active campus construction sites. The Wedgewood Academic Centeropens later this week, while the Academic and Dining Services Complex is expected to be completed next summer. The University’s total investment in construction projects since 2000 now exceeds $474 million.
“Ribbon cuttings are about the best thing you get to do as a mayor… and Belmont has more than done their share to keep me amused. I always think very fondly of Belmont because I got elected in 2007, and shortly after the country went into the deepest recession it had known since the Great Depression. And all throughout that recession, Belmont kept moving forward,” said Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. “They kept investing in the students. They kept investing in the physical plant, and they kept investing in infrastructure, and they kept believing in the future. So during the darkest days of the recession, of the great lights in this city was this University. And I will always be grateful for that.”