Responding to growing enrollment and increased student interest in on-campus living, the University of South Alabama Board of Trustees today approved plans to construct a new 300-bed residence hall on campus by fall 2011.
"As USA's enrollment has steadily grown in recent years, we've observed a significant increase in the number of students who desire a traditional on-campus living experience, especially as we have enhanced campus life through the addition of marching band, football, a state-of-the-art recreation center and other amenities," said USA President Gordon Moulton.
"We are certain these new residence halls, like our existing facilities, will be in high demand among students and will enhance the learning atmosphere on campus," Moulton said.
USA's enrollment hit a record 14,757 this past fall semester, and over the last decade it has been one of the fastest-growing universities in the state. Currently, there are 2,787 student housing beds on campus, 1,787 operated by USA and 1,000 at The Grove, a privately-owned apartment complex located on campus through a public-private partnership between USA and Campus Crest, Inc.
The new residence hall will include mostly two-bedroom, one-bath suites, as well as classroom space and small-group study areas. It will feature "living-learning communities," in which faculty members live in the residence hall, conduct classes there and foster a sense of connection. Campus officials said this living environment will enhance campus life and encourage student retention.
The new residence hall would be located at the corner of Hillsdale and Fraternity roads.
"The living-learning community concept leads students to feel more connected to the faculty, other students and the fabric of campus life, leading to greater retention and higher rates of academic success," said Dr. John Smith, USA vice president for student affairs.
USA Housing Director Dr. Chris Charlton said the living-learning community concept will begin on campus in fall 2010 with an engineering community in one of the existing residence halls. The new residence hall will feature several different living-learning communities, Charlton said.
For more information on admission to USA, call (251) 460-6141 or visit www.southalabama.edu. For more information on housing, call (251) 460-6185.