Southern Wesleyan University officials broke ground August 30 on a new four-story living and learning community to be constructed along Wesleyan Drive on the Central, S.C., campus.

More than just a place for students to sleep, the new residence hall represents for President Todd Voss a dream come true that’s been 30 years in the making. Dr. Voss, who has overseen several residence hall projects at various universities where he has served, had a vision for a living and learning community that would provide an inviting environment for nurturing relationships, spiritual growth and academic success.

“This new concept will rock this state and make such a difference in the lives of our students at Southern Wesleyan,” Voss said. “I believe that this is the kind of building that will increase student satisfaction, student retention and student involvement in deep and meaningful ways.”

Dr. Joe Brockinton, vice president for student life, said “The new residence hall will bring energy, excitement and it’s also going to provide outstanding amenities and community spirit.”

Dr. Charles Joiner, chairman of Southern Wesleyan’s board of trustees, said that the new residence hall represents a partnership that “will not only change this institution for the better; it will give this institution life for growth in the future that we never would have had otherwise.”

In addition to single, dual and triple occupancy suites for 243 students, the 67,000 square foot residence hall will include 17,000 square feet of space devoted to amenities, including a large lobby with a bistro and ample gathering space, a classroom, fitness rooms, a theatre and a conference room. Also included will be laundry facilities, study a large balcony deck, a park-like courtyard and a large parking lot.

Southern Wesleyan is partnering with Mainstreet Student Living of Carmel, Ind., for this new project development. Mainstreet® encompasses the investment, development and management sides of student housing. Mainstreet Student Living representatives were present for the groundbreaking, as were the building’s architect, Kevin Scully of Design Collaborative Architects and Engineers, and Joel Davis of J. Davis Construction, the builder.

Southern Wesleyan seeks to continually reinforce three pillars of uniqueness – inventive learning, faith-filled community and contagious generosity. This new facility on SWU’s campus will be conducive in exercising these institutional characteristics.

The project, which represents a $9.3 million investment, will create numerous jobs and expand Pickens County’s economic impact footprint.

For student Morgan Haney, a sport management major, resident assistant and student-athlete who took part in the groundbreaking, Southern Wesleyan has been transformative.

“If it wasn’t for the community, I wouldn’t have been able to experience God’s love through other people, which I really needed. I thought I would just come here as an athlete but I found so much more throughout the residence halls and the students and faculty.”

“Now it’s time to build our future students’ ‘exciting, responsibility and discipline-forming, relationship building and spiritual growth developing home away from home.’ And from the bottom of our hearts, from all of us students, we thank all of you who’ve had a tremendous impact in this thing becoming a reality,” said Ben Hochhalter, president of Southern Wesleyan’s Student Government Association.

SWU expects to welcome student residents into this completed facility in August of 2017.