FAMU moving forward with new housing plans

By: Lanetra Bennett | WCTV Eyewitness News
March 8, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The FAMU Board of Trustees has approved a pre-development plan for a new residence hall on campus.

Trustees held committee meetings Wednesday and Thursday, followed by the full board meeting Thursday morning.

Trustees chose a company to begin pre-construction for the new residence hall.

Board Chairman Kelvin Lawson says the company will be doing everything from getting the land ready and getting city permits to holding town hall meetings.

"If we want to recruit more stronger students over time and increase strategically our footprint, we have to have a higher quality residence hall to get those students," Lawson said.

A priority development of 700 beds is part of phase one.

The board's vice chair, Kimberly Moore, says they're also taking into account the expectation of FAMU's student population growing.

"We realize that the largest part of our success depends upon the students that we bring here. We want to make sure that the housing rises to the occasion, along with the excellent academics that we provide," Moore said.

Moore says the board is not only thinking about future housing, they're also looking into current housing.

The project includes demolishing the Pentaplex buildings: Wheatley, Cropper Hall, Diamond Hall, and McGuinn Hall.

"They need some renovations. I've grown up here and some of them haven't changed at all, so renovations would help. New facilities would be just nice all around." Said, Geoffrey Gary, a FAMU student.

Trustee Moore says they'll know the cost once an assessment report is complete.

They're looking into three different finance options: HBCU financing, traditional bonds, and private investments.

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