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Georgia Gwinnett College to begin building housing

LAWRENCEVILLE - In about a year and a half, some students will be able to call Georgia Gwinnett College home.

The state's newest four-year college is preparing to start building the first phase of its student housing, officials said this week. The college sold $102 million in bonds so the state-of-the-art dormitories could be constructed on the "Campus of Tomorrow."

The student housing will feature furnished "pods," apartment-like areas that will accommodate four to 12 students. All pods will have multiple bathrooms, a kitchen and a common living space. The first phase of the planned 2,500-bed project, scheduled to open in the fall of 2010, will feature 1,029 beds.

"We conducted market studies in cooperation with a private design firm to determine the most appropriate living space for the student of today," said Eddie Beauchamp, vice president for business and finance. "These pods will feature flexibility and comfort for our students."

Students will rent their space in the suites for about $650 a month, which will include utilities, according to a news release. Construction of the second phase of the housing will begin as soon as the first phase is sold out. Phase II will include parking decks with about 2,500 spaces and could open as early as 2011.

"Giving our students access to affordable, on-campus housing is vital to the continued growth of Georgia Gwinnett College," President Daniel J. Kaufman said. "Our students deserve it. We also are pleased to be able to begin this major construction project to assist the economy of Gwinnett County."

The student housing project is a public/private venture. The Georgia Gwinnett College Foundation put up the initial investment and will be reimbursed through the rental agreements with students.