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College shows off its new residence hall
Posted 04/08/2016 11:12AM

Video from the Hard Hat tour

By Michael Hall, The Brunswick News

Megan Maloof doesn't know yet if she will find herself living in the Lakeside Village or the soon-to-be-completed Mariners Village on campus at College of Coastal Georgia.

As a head resident adviser for the upcoming fall 2016 semester, Maloof made a simple but decisive statement about her first look at Mariners Village on Thursday.

"This is so cool," Maloof said, wearing a hard hat and safety goggles as she stepped into what will be the main lobby when the $8.5 million is completed in July by Corvias Campus Living.

Corvias was selected by The University System of Georgia for a public-private partnership to handle on-campus housing at nine colleges throughout the state.

Maloof, along with several other students and a group of faculty and staff, got their first glimpse at what the second residence hall on the Brunswick campus will look like on Thursday.

If Mariners Village turns out to be anything like the Lakeside Village, where Maloof has lived since 2013, the American studies major said it will be much more than a regular dormitory.

"I love the sense of community in there," she said of Lakeside Village. "Everyone works together to make it a true residence hall instead of a dorm."

That is the plan, according to Michael Butcher, director of residence life and housing at College of Coastal Georgia. He said the goal of the buildings is to create a place where students do more than just rest their heads at night. The goal is for the buildings to be home, a place where they can study, make friends and grow.

"It's about keeping them connected to everything on campus," Butcher said. "What we will see is the college is going to change with this building."

That is true in a literal sense as well. The L-shaped building built along the campus' edge along Fourth Street will add 218 beds on campus, bringing the total number of students living on campus to 570. Mariners Village will include a mixture of two bedroom, one bathroom suites and four bedroom, two bathroom suites.

For the folks in academic administration at the college, having nearly 600 students living on campus will be a boon.

"Particularly at a growing college, this is the best scenario we can provide," said Tracy Pellett, vice president of academic affairs.

He noted higher academic achievement and retention rates among students living on campus because their access to classes, professors and anything else the college provides is at their fingertips.

He also noted features like the purposefully designed study rooms, meeting rooms and common areas in Mariners Village that he said will enhance the experience.

"There are a lot of unique features to it," Pellett said. "I can tell a lot of thought went into it."

Corvias' project manager Michael Turturro said there are still a few months before students will move in to the 57,000 square-foot residence hall. When that happens, it will be an adjustment for him.

"I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself at that point," Turturro said.

College of Coastal Georgia President Greg Aloia said he is excited for the building to be completed because it will be a nice addition to the growing campus.

"I don't think I've worked on a campus with nicer facilities to serve the students," Aloia said.

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