South Expands On-Campus Housing

Posted on February 17, 2017
Joy Washington

An artist rendering of the 100,000-square-foot residence hall, featuring in-room private baths, set to open in fall 2018.  data-lightbox='featured'
An artist rendering of the 100,000-square-foot residence hall, featuring in-room private baths, set to open in fall 2018.

The sight and sound of earth-moving equipment next to New Hall means just what you think it does.  Grounds are being prepared for a new, four-story, 375-bed residence hall for freshmen at the University of South Alabama.

“We research campus housing trends and design buildings that provide living, studying and gathering spaces,” said Dr. Chris Vinet, assistant vice president for auxiliary services. “Our student demand for housing on campus has increased, and we are building another first-rate residence hall on the South Alabama campus.”

The 100,000-square-foot facility will feature modern rooms for two students with an in-room private bath similar to New Hall. The facility will also feature luxury vinyl tile wood plank flooring, which is very durable. There will be spacious lounging areas and multiple study rooms throughout the building. In addition, students will continue to be able to adjust their room temperature with individual thermostats in each room.

Vinet said the design for the new residence hall is aesthetically pleasing and will provide the amenities students enjoy. As freshman students desire to live on campus, existing students are requesting private rooms.

“With the addition of the new residence hall," Vinet said, “In the future, we will be redesigning many of the Delta rooms to offer returning residents more of the privacy they have requested. Each year, we have more continuing students wanting to live on campus, and many of them want private rooms. The second floor of Delta 4 will be redesigned as private rooms this summer and will be available for students this August.

This fall, the University had 16,699 students, and the growth is expected to continue. According to Christopher A. Lynch, associate vice president for enrollment services, “The groundbreaking of this new residence hall suggests there is a strong need for more campus housing to support the demand.

“Prospective students and parents inherently associate new residence halls with campus growth. This tells the prospective students that USA is a very desirable place to attend and live while attending college. Overall, new residence halls drive enrollment.”

Lynch also said new freshmen prefer living on campus when they attend college.

“When they take their campus tours or attend USA Day, everyone has the opportunity to tour a residence hall,” Lynch expressed. “Our recently constructed residence halls are first-class facilities. They have all the amenities students are looking for. An estimated 70 percent of students make their final decision to attend a particular college based on their campus tour, and our housing tour seals the deal with them.”

Vinet said when students come to South, she and her staff want them to have a great experience.

“South Alabama is growing, and we are excited to be able to offer new housing for our freshman students and redesigned spaces with private rooms for our returning residents,” she said. “Great buildings and spaces help students have a more productive and memorable experience while attending college.”

More than 2,300 students live on campus. The new residence hall is expected to open fall of 2018.

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