Plans are moving forward for construction of an 84 bed residence hall on the campus of Brevard College. Today, Brevard College officials along with USDA Area Director Pam Hysong marked the beginning of construction with an official groundbreaking.
“USDA supports long-term investments in education that create strong rural communities and offer residents the opportunity to improve their quality of life,” said Hysong.
USDA Rural Development funds are being used to construct the new residence hall on a parcel of land adjacent to several existing residence halls near the center of the campus. The design of the new structure will blend with the facades of the existing campus buildings.
The planned design will provide a common area on each floor and a larger common area on the terrace level. Brevard Collage campus consists of 24 buildings, of which 7 are residential halls. Many of the buildings were constructed in the 1950's and 1960's. The residence halls provide 337 rooms and have a total student capacity of 534.
Most of the rooms are double occupancy. However, there is a demand for single occupancy rooms. Five of the existing residential halls do not provide the type of housing that is sought by students today. The residence halls have the communal showers and bathroom facilities and are in need of considerable maintenance and updates. The College has begun to renovate and remodel some of the halls, however, the current housing demand does not allow them to close any of their current halls so extensive remodeling can be completed.
As a temporary measure, the College has entered into an agreement with a local developer to make use of a motel slated for demolition. The College will lease 60 rooms in two buildings until a permanent hall is constructed on campus. The motel is approximately 1.5 miles off campus. This arrangement will allow for the proposed enrollment of 666 this year, but will not meet their long term projections for housing needs.
USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, community development, health, education, homeownership and affordable rental housing to improve the economic health of rural communities. In Fiscal Year 2014, the agency invested more than $1.4 billion in rural North Carolina through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants. USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $208 billion in loans and loan guarantees. For more information on North Carolina Rural Development programs visit www.rd.usda.gov/nc
President Obama's historic investments in rural America have made our rural communities stronger. Under his leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities.