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Furman breaks ground on new residence hall

Last updated February 12, 2022

By Sarita Chourey

Editor’s note: Due to the rising cost of materials and issues relating to the availability of subcontractors, the start of construction will be delayed until Spring 2023. The expected completion date of the new hall is now Summer 2024, and for the remaining phases, one year later.

Under brilliant sunshine Saturday, Furman University broke ground on a new residence hall, and with those shovelfuls of earth, embarked on its largest construction project to date to re-imagine the first-year experience for generations of students.

“The new residence hall that we’re breaking ground on today will be a beautiful, sweeping building that takes advantage of this view of the lake,” said Furman University President Elizabeth Davis. “When it welcomes its first students in the Fall of 2023, it will be among the most modern, forward-thinking residence halls anywhere. It will be the new home of the Center for Inclusive Communities. And it will feature personal and social spaces designed to set our students on trajectories for success at Furman and beyond.”

The $70 million project will be funded through financing, and will include approximately $31.2 million for the new first-year residence hall. Last month, Furman opened its financing process to the campus community: Furman students, administrators, financial advisors, underwriters and others gathered as the public auction for 30-year municipal bonds went live.

Beginning in 2023, Poteat and McGlothlin halls, followed by Manly and Greer, will undergo comprehensive renovations, which will include new amenities and enhanced security and privacy.

Brianca Beckford ’23, a health sciences major from Elgin, South Carolina, who has experienced move-in day three times – first as a first-year student and two subsequent times as a member of housing staff – also addressed attendees Saturday.

“This new facility may replace Blackwell Hall but not the memories,” Beckford said.

“The traditions, laughs and learning curves are still here. There’s character in the old walls and furniture that run farther than some of our entire existences. However, I recognize that this new space will further accommodate the holistic needs of the student staff and residents within it, and I look forward to watching the idea of this new building come to life.”

The lead design firm on the project is Mackey Mitchell Architects, with John Burse of serving as the principal design architect. McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture and Mackey Mitchell Architects will be delivering this project as a team, while the construction management company is Rodgers Builders, a women-owned firm headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, that also managed the addition and renovation of the Townes Center for Science.

Watch video from the event.

“This village, a mix of new construction and renovations, will embrace our first-year students with new amenities,” said Furman University President Elizabeth Davis. “These amenities are designed not just for students’ comfort but to support their success and increase their sense of belonging. The new South Housing will strengthen the connection to the heart of campus, much like the Trone Student Center renovation and boardwalk did when they were completed not too long ago. And it will serve as a centerpiece of student activity, providing a more enriching experience for students.”



“The four-year residential experience is a distinctive pillar of The Furman Advantage. Coupled with those excellent academics, the lived experience gives that out-of-classroom connection and real-world connection,” said Vice President for Student life Connie Carson.
“Research has shown over the years that the first-year transition to college is understandably filled with ups and downs, with social changes, with interpersonal swings, learning how to socialize and be in a different place. And a foundational component of a student’s success is their belongingness, their welcoming here. This becomes home away from home. But it doesn’t come easy without us having that residential experience. Making Furman that home and this South Housing village will be a critical building block for the collegiate experience.”

“The planning process has been a really great partnership,” said David Hauser ’73, a member of the Furman Board of Trustees, who played a lead role in the project as chair of the Financial Health and Resources Committee. Hauser arrived at Furman in 1969 and was among the first students to live in E dorm, which would later become known as Blackwell Hall.
“As a former CFO, I rest easy knowing this massive construction and remodeling project is being handled in a fiscally responsible way. And I know that our students’ best interests are in mind,” he said. “Furman students will be excited about this residence hall, and the Furman community will be proud of it for many generations.”

Eric Reichard, chief operations officer of Rodgers Builders, Jeff Redderson, associate vice president of facilities and campus services, Terry Horomanski, director of capital construction, President Elizabeth Davis, Susan Maddux, vice president of finance, and Ron Thompson, director of housing and residence life break ground.

Last updated February 12, 2022
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Clinton Colmenares
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