October 29, 2009
MARIETTA, Ga., October 27, 2009 – RISE announces plans to develop three new facilities on campus to include a new student housing residence hall, 10 Special Interest homes and a state-of-the-art dining facility in partnership with Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU) of Marietta, Georgia. RISE was chosen from a competitive bid process that considered proposals from around the nation. The decision was announced in January 2009 and project funding was achieved earlier this month utilizing revenue bonds acquired through The Georgia Higher Education Facilities Authority. Notably, SPSU was the first university within the University System of Georgia to build student housing utilizing the Public-Private-Ventures (PPV) method.
The partnership marks a second pairing for the respective organizations which first began working together during Phase II of the University’s goal to provide positive, safe and healthy living and learning environments for the school’s growing student population. In response to their new housing mission, RISE delivered University Courtyard in 2005 featuring apartment-style student housing.
“We are thrilled to take on Phase III of this meaningful housing plan, especially because we will be working alongside our friends once again at Southern Polytechnic State University,” commented Greg Blais, President of RISE.” Over the years we have developed a unique understanding of the campus culture at SPSU. The team here knows they can count on Ambling to deliver a remarkable community. We’re all very excited to be one of Georgia’s first LEED-silver student housing developments.”
SPSU designated itself as a leader in the push for green living standards nationwide a few years ago. “Striving for Silver LEED status for our new housing and dining facilities is just another indication of the University’s commitment to sustainability,” said Patrick B. McCord, SPSU’s vice president of Business and Finance. “The motivation for pursuing sustainable design standards on these projects goes beyond the long-term efficiencies that are realized; it is simply the right thing to do for our environment and is expected by our students, faculty and staff.” In fact, a recent study from Princeton Review found that 66% of prospective college students value a University’s commitment to the environment while nearly 25% said a school’s environmental commitment would strongly influence his or her college decision.
Construction on the highly-anticipated LEED facility is scheduled to begin this month. The RISE Team consists of Juneau Construction Company as the general contractor for the project and Niles Bolton Associates as the architect of record. Their unique design plan includes two multi-story residence hall buildings containing 600 beds in a suite-style configuration. Within these buildings are a combination of two and four-bedroom suites, each with shared baths. Common amenity areas include dramatic two-story entry lounges, a tutoring center, vending areas, multiple conference rooms, and student lounges on each and every floor.
The scope of construction will also include 10 additional houses containing 120 beds designated for special interest residents such as athletes, international students, Greek associations and honor societies. Plans also call for a 16,700 square foot structure to serve as a deluxe new food service facility. Designed for 334 seats, the new dining hall has capacity to accommodate the entire campus with a wide variety of food programs and meal choices.
“We have come a long way since our founding in 1948 with just 116 students. A record increase of 21 percent enrollment over the last three years has significantly spurred our on-campus housing demand” comments Kasey Helton, SPSU’s director of Auxiliary Services “With these new construction projects, SPSU will be propelled to new heights in enrollment and academic engagement. Our 193 acre campus in vibrant and historic Marietta will soon be even more desirable.”
When the new residential community is complete, SPSU will experience an increase in the capacity of on-campus housing to 1,883 total beds. Coined “Hornet Village,” the new community will be open to students in the Fall of 2010.