JACKSON — Construction of a $7 million residence hall that began in September at Belhaven University is nearing completion, and students are looking foward to its availability in August.
The three-story, U-shaped building will house 132 students, both men and women, in apartment-style units. Each unit will include four bedrooms, two full baths, a kitchen and a living room. The rooms will be furnished and include a television and a washer and dryer.
This past year, Belhaven’s enrollment was up 15 percent, which Kevin Russell, vice president for University Advancement, tells The Clarion-Ledger is a continuing trend.
“We have been needing and wanting a new residence hall for a while,” Russell said. “So with a very generous gift from the (Robbie and Dudley) Hugheses, we have been able to make that a reality much quicker.”
Longtime supporters of the university, the two made a $4 million donation last year to help with the project.
Russell said he believes the new residence hall, to open in August, will be a great selling point for prospective students.
“It’s all kind of tied together. With our remarkable academics, our focus on the Christian perspective, our athletic teams — it’s all come together to increase attention on Belhaven, and we’re expecting equally strong numbers for this upcoming year.”
Sebastian Bjernegard, a senior from Sweden, is a resident assistant in Robertson Hall, one of the four dormitories on campus. He says the halls have been packed this year, and the new building is much needed.
Currently, about half of Belhaven’s 1,200 undergraduate students live on campus. The school requires its students to live on campus the first two years.
The new building, called University Village, will house some freshmen if room is available after early registration ends for upperclassmen. It is located in the center of campus where the tennis courts used to be.
The building will also feature its own fitness center and a New Orleans-style courtyard.
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