New Belmont Abbey residence hall project making progress
By Alan Hodge
Progress continues on the new residence hall under construction on the campus of Belmont Abbey college.
Last October, ground was broken on the 136-room residence hall. The largest capital investment in the college’s history, the new hall will primarily serve upperclassmen but also add new classroom, office, and meeting space. MKC Architects designed the new building to mirror the Gothic architecture prominent on the college’s campus. University Housing Solutions is the contractor building the new facility.
The structure is five stories, with the first story having meeting areas, social areas, offices, two classrooms, and a student lounge available to all students, including commuters. The upper floors will alternate between a men’s and women’s floor. Each residence floor will have a kitchenette, study areas, a laundry area, and a gathering area on each side. For security, the upper floors will only be accessible via the elevator and the stairwell via the student’s magnetic ID that will permit them to their floor.
The initial goal was to have the building ready for students to occupy in August when classes resume. However, the weather had a say in that dream.
Rolando Rivas, Abbey director of marketing and communications, explained.
“The rain killed us,” he said. “Instead of opening in August it will probably be January before students can move it.”
To accommodate the students, mostly juniors and seniors, who were scheduled to make the new hall their home away from home, the Abbey has come up with a unique idea.
“The contractor will build prefab housing on campus for those students,” Rivas said. “Each student will have one room.”
The contractor will pick up the tab for the prefab units. The units should be done in July.
Rivas said the exact location is yet to be decided, but a current parking lot across the street from the new hall is one option.
“The ground is nice and flat,” he said.
Rivas also said the Abbey is considering give students who were supposed to live in the new dorm but will be in the temporary housing a price reduction in their fee.