Emory & Henry College celebrated the grand opening of a new $5.5 million residence hall Wednesday morning, the latest in a series of construction and renovation projects in recent years that have dramatically expanded and updated facilities at the 174-year-old institution.
The new residence hall, Elm Hall, represents an exciting step forward in the advancement of student housing at the school, said E&H President Rosalind Reichard. The new facility is part of an overall plan to upgrade housing conditions at the College. It is the first of three living facilities anticipated for construction near the E&H Martin-Brock Student Center.
“We envision a residence hall quad that provides attractive, comfortable living conditions and access to services important to the daily life of students, including mail service, recreational opportunities, food services and social activities,” Reichard said.
The new housing facility is the first major residence hall to be built on the main part of the E&H campus since the 1950s. The building provides double-occupancy rooms, each of which has its own bathroom. It continues a trend at Emory & Henry toward high-quality living conditions that are compatible with the College’s reputation for excellence and rigorous academic standards.
Reichard emphasized the student involvement in the design and planning of the facility. "This residence hall is more student-designed than any building project I've worked with over the years, and I’ve worked on several."
Richard Aylor, president of the E&H Student Government, said the students and college administrators worked together closely on the project, which has resulted in a high-quality residence hall that "speaks to the promise of even better buildings to come."
The Georgian architecture of the new residence hall coordinates with other buildings on campus, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The building, which was constructed with the intention of obtaining LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, is the latest of several construction and renovation projects at the College in recent years.
Other projects included a $7 million addition to Byars Hall, which houses the College’s Division of Visual and Performing Arts; a $3 million renovation of Wiley Hall, the main administration building, and a $1.5 million upgrade to the Fred Selfe Athletic Stadium, including the addition of artificial turf, new fencing and a new scoreboard.
The College also hopes to break ground on additional projects over the next few years, including new residential space, a new athletic field house and a $17 million Center for the Visual and Performing Arts.