Student center slated for 2020 completion

By STAFF REPORTS,

The steel skeleton of a new student center is taking shape at William Carey University’s Hattiesburg campus.

The student center is part of a long-range plan to accommodate the university’s growth. Since 2007, WCU’s enrollment has roughly doubled, from 2,500 to 5,000. During the same time, the number of residential students in Hattiesburg has increased from 240 to 800 and six dorms have been opened.

Landry Lewis Germany Architects designed the student center. Construction began over the summer under the direction of Hanco General Contractors.

Bob Blevins, WCU facilities director, said assembly of the building’s steel superstructure is progressing well. The concrete floor for the second story has been poured, and workers are installing corrugated steel plates to support the floor on the third story.

The Office of Student Support will be relocated to the new building.

“The building will sit in the center of our campus at the core of who we are and what we do,” said Valerie Bridgeforth, vice president of student support. “For student support, it gives us the ability to expand our services to students, because we’ll be in the same building and so much more accessible.

“The Student Center will give our students a place to belong, a place to call their own – whether they want to socialize in one of the lounges, meet with classmates in a study room, attend a Baptist Student Union event, pick up a hot meal at the grill, charge a cell phone or just have a place to rest during a break between classes.”

Construction is expected to be complete during the 2020 academic year.