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.