Columbia College unveils new residence hall
COLUMBIA – Students at Columbia College moved into a brand new residence hall Wednesday, the first housing structure built on campus in 50 years.
The residence hall, called New Hall, will house 150 students, as well as the Robert W. Plaster School of Business.
“We felt like this was an opportunity for us to be innovative and do something great, but we see a connection and value between the academic experience and the student experience at Columbia College,” said Dave Roberts, Dean for Student Affairs.
“This gives us an opportunity to meld the extracurricular and the academic experience together in a way that a lot of places haven’t thought to or aren’t doing at this point.”
The four-story, 60,000-square-foot building has a large conference room and six classrooms. Three of the classroom are equipped to serve as storm shelters. In the event of severe weather, students can seek shelter downstairs instead of having to go to a different hall.
From the inside to the outside, New Hall stands out from the other red brick buildings on Columbia College properties. Roberts said the contrast was intentional, as a way to modernize the campus.
“We have a building with grey stone architecture around the sides, but we also wanted some color and so we had each floors painted a different color in the residential hall,” said Roberts. “At night when you drive by the campus, you can see the colors shining through the windows.”
While the business school and the residence hall share a building, the two are separated by a security feature requiring students to scan into the residential side via card reader.
The top three floors have about 20 rooms each, which are all suite style. Additionally, each floor has its own laundry room, kitchen area, and lounge area with gaming areas.
The second floor resident assistant, Yulia Bychkovska, is in charge of a business learning community. She said the new space is ideal for meetings.
“We have a great lounge on each floor where we can host events, but we also can utilize the conference centers and rooms in the business hall,” said Bychkovska.
In past years, Columbia College has had a housing shortage, but this year, Roberts said this new addition will keep students out of apartments and allow for future growth.
“Our president, he’s a visionary guy and he really said I want people to walk in here and just be really ‘wowed’ by this experience,” said Roberts. “But to really feel like this is Columbia College, this is home.”
There will be a public dedication at 4 p.m. on Sept. 25.