CENTRAL – At the start of the Fall 2017 Semester, more students are making the campus at Southern Wesleyan University their home.
As part of a record-breaking traditional enrollment going into this year, nearly 500 students moved into on-campus housing. According to Dr. Joe Brockinton, vice president for student life, 477 traditional students are living in campus housing and an additional 13 students in the new OneLife gap year program are living in newly updated rooms in Stuart-Bennett Residence Hall. All but the top two floors of Stuart-Bennett are being repurposed for classroom and office space.
A newly-constructed residence hall on Wesleyan Drive has transformed the Central campus and exemplifies Southern Wesleyan’s distinctive of being a faith-filled community offering inventive learning opportunities.
“Built with expertise and incredible support by J. Davis Construction, the new living and learning community offers exciting new enhancements for students at the Central campus,” said Dr. Todd Voss, Southern Wesleyan’s President. Voss noted that the residence hall, with separate wings for men and women, includes 17,000 square feet of space devoted to amenities such as a kitchen/bistro and ample gathering space, fitness rooms, a conference room and a large outdoor deck.
“Students in the new residence hall are ecstatic over the amenities that this facility offers,” Brockinton said. “The tremendous amount of common space is creating a greater sense of community as students can gather in so many different venues in the hall for a variety of activities.”
“It’s completely different,” said Shonquez Caldwell, a sophomore from Spartanburg majoring in criminal justice. “It’s just a whole new living experience. I really enjoy it.”
For Alexa Bombich, a junior from Pawley’s Island majoring in in forensic science, chemistry and biology, the new residence hall is the third place she’s lived on campus and the nicest.
“The rooms and bathrooms are a lot bigger,” said Bombich, adding that the large lobby and community spaces offer a great atmosphere for being around other students. “It’s nice living with freshmen but also upperclassmen, so you get a good mix,” she said.
“It’s a much better area to socialize and to fellowship with other people here on campus,” said Ethan Ekback, a sophomore from Seneca majoring in mathematics.
“There’s so much more room to put things. In this room I have a couch and a chair – it’s so much larger,” said Christian Luna, a junior media communication major from Lake City.
Other housing improvements include Mullinax Hall receiving a facelift with new furnishings and décor in the lobby as well as the lounges on each floor. The university’s two blocks of apartments were extensively renovated within the past three years, with new flooring, appliances and furnishings in the units and improved laundry facilities and meeting areas.
With the opening of the new residence hall, Childs Hall, a 70-year old residence hall, was closed for renovation. A fundraising campaign is now under way to transform Childs Hall, converting its traditional rooms with hall bathrooms to new suites, which will each consist of two rooms and a bathroom; and for a new heating and air-conditioning system for the 48-bed facility.
Childs Hall may be needed as early as Fall 2018 to accommodate projected growth, making urgent the drive to complete the $1.5 million fundraising campaign. Details about saving this historic residence hall can be found online at swu.edu/childs or by calling (864) 644-5008.