Regents approve GGC housing

LAWRENCEVILLE - This time next year, about 200 Georgia Gwinnett College students will be able to call the campus "home."

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents on Wednesday approved the ground lease and rental agreement for Georgia Gwinnett's new student housing, setting in motion the college's plan to break ground and begin building the first of five planned residence halls that will eventually house 1,000 students in apartment-like "pods," a news release states.

The first phase of student housing is scheduled to be completed next August, just in time for next year's fall semester. A new structured parking deck that will allow for 985 vehicles is also planned and should be completed in tandem with the housing, which is scheduled to be finalized in 2010, the news release states.

"This is yet another significant milestone in the college's short history," Georgia Gwinnett College President Daniel J. Kaufman said in the news release. "The students who attend GGC now and our future students deserve to have affordable on-campus housing, and we are anticipating a positive reaction to the new residential halls."

Board of Regents Chairman Richard Tucker said in the news release that the resident halls will contribute to the overall interest in the college and will be an important factor as the University System meets the demands of the growing student population in Georgia.

Each of the resident hall apartments will house between four and 12 students and include living areas, fully equipped kitchens and one bathroom for every two students, said Maurice Blount, the college's director of facilities.

College administrators also are planning to implement additions to the initial 200 units in subsequent years. Blount said that the college will add another 1,500 housing units and an additional parking deck following the completion of Phase I.

The $80 million housing development and parking deck are part of a public/private venture in partnership with Place Properties and groundbreaking on the new facilities should take place later this year, the news release states. Financing for the dorms initially will be provided in conjunction with the Georgia Gwinnett College Foundation; however, they ultimately will be paid for through lease fees from students.