WCU growth continues: Site work begins for new three-story student center


William Carey University has begun site work for a new Student Center at its Hattiesburg campus. The three-story building will stand next to Thomas Fine Arts Center at the former location of the old Tatum Court.

“We’ve rebuilt and repaired a lot of buildings in the last two years. We’ve cut a lot of ribbons,” WCU President Dr. Tommy King said.

“But this is different. This building has nothing to do with the tornado. With new Tatum Court, our final tornado recovery project, so close to completion, this building is part of William Carey University’s long-range plan for expansions to accommodate our growth.”

Since Dr. King became president in 2007, the number of students has 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 brand-new dorms have been opened.

Valerie Bridgeforth is WCU’s vice president for student support.

“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,” Bridgeforth said.

Here’s a look at some of the Student Center’s features:

1st Floor:

·  Large activity/event space with catering kitchen

·  Baptist Student Union meeting space, offices and workroom

·   Information Technology offices and storage

2nd Floor:

·  Large student recreation center

·  Diner/Grill

·  Large, partially covered patio

·  Student lounge

·  Commuter student lounge

·  International student lounge

3rd Floor:

·  Large business center

·  Computer lab

·  Group study rooms

·  Student Services offices, conference room and workroom

·  Resident Life offices and workroom

“The building will sit in the center of our campus at the core of who we are and what we do,” Bridgeforth said. “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.”

Construction on the WCU Student Center is expected to be complete in 2020.