The College of Coastal Georgia opened the doors Friday to its second residence hall, Mariner Village.
State legislators, Glynn County's community leaders and University System of Georgia officials, who traveled from Atlanta for the event, cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony, which took place 14 months after the building's ground breaking.
"Our students in generations to come will be beneficiaries of the hard work being celebrated today," said Jason Umfress, CCGA's vice president for student affairs.
Over the next few weeks, students will move into the 216-bed residence hall located at the forefront of the college's campus.
CCGA partnered with the USG and Corvias Campus Living, a privately-owned company that works with higher education institutions to provide on-campus living needs, to construct the residence hall.
"This is a perfect example of exactly what we need to be doing," said U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter. "The public-private partnerships that we're witnessing now and the innovation behind that, this is the result and this is such a good thing."
Greg Aloia, CCGA president, said the completed residence hall was the result of a team effort that began years ago, including the work of previous presidents of the college.
"This is what can be achieved when these folks get together and put their minds to something," Aloia said.
USG Chancellor Hank Huckabee said he's excited to see the institution continue to grow.
"This facility here and the one that we dedicated several years ago lays the foundation, quite frankly, for this to become a destination institution," he said. "If you don't have student housing — quality student housing, affordable student housing — that will not happen. So this is an exciting day.
Richard Strickland, chairman of the Glynn County Board of Commissioners, attended the college in the early 1980s when it was Brunswick Junior College. He said he never could have imagined what the institution would grow to become.
"Who would have ever thought the students coming here would need a map to find their way around," he said.
But incoming student government president Foster Hayes said the residence hall goes beyond being a symbol of CCGA's growth.
"To us, the students, Mariner Village is more than just a beautiful building," he said. "It will be our home."