With a quick flick of the shovel, Valdosta State University officially broke ground on its new on-campus housing facility, a project that's been long overdue according to VSU president Ron Zaccari.
Ron says, "We hadn't built housing on campus since 1968, so we focused on this very first step and it's taken about 20 months of very hard work."
The new 500-bed facility will look similar to other campus housing, but inside it will feature the latest in first class college accommodations.
Zaccari adds, "These are private bedrooms, Internet connection, shared bathroom, large closet spaces and a full kitchen and full dining room and living area."
Those features have longtime dorm residents excited as they finally get a chance to move out of the cramped halls.
Brian Roberts, a VSU student, says, "I think it's really going to draw more students to continue to stay on campus. Traditionally, we have students that are here for a year or two, then move off campus, but with this new complex I believe we'll have students that are going to want to stay the whole four-plus years in some cases."
Heavy machines are already preparing the foundation. This project is on the fast track and should be opened to students by the beginning of 2005.
Not only is the project a source of pride for VSU, but it also provides a boost for Valdosta's economy, as the complex was designed by a local firm and will be built by local workers.