As construction crews steadily piece together Georgia State’s upcoming dorm, University Housing executives, the University System of Georgia (USG) and Corvias Campus Living have marked their stamp of approval on floor plans, color palettes, furniture and a name for the facility.
The new dorm will be called Piedmont Central, according to Georgia State University Housing Director Randy Brown. This is fitting, he said, since the facility was built on the corner of Piedmont Avenue and John Wesley Dobbs Avenue.
“[Piedmont Central’s] better than what I anticipated…The amount of just community space for students to gather, to me, I think is leaps and bounds than what I initially envisioned and just the proximity,” Brown said.
Ground was broken for the residence hall on May 14, 2014, and has since been on track to bring more than 1,000 beds to Georgia State’s growing student body by Fall 2016, according to a Georgia State news release.
Fostering a community within a hall
Piedmont Central will be targeted to first-year students and has been built to help students socialize with each other more, according to Brown.
“We trying to really pull students out of their rooms. We don’t want them just hanging out in their rooms,” he said. “There’s more to engage with and to learn from each other if we are going to create spaces for them to interact. This space, I think, did a remarkable job at pulling that together.”
Each community room has a special purpose to encourage residents to greet, gather, chat or connect, as outlined in the dorm developer Corvias Campus Living’s Community document. The individual dorm rooms have also been called “be” spaces.
“Programmatically, we will do different things on different floors…We will have eight kinds of programmatic types of things, [such as] a meeting space [or] a workout room,” Brown said.
Being greeted when entering
When first walking into the residence hall, students would be welcomed by the cool shades of blue, the front desk, a digital message board and Georgia State’s flame logo, along with the dorm’s name.
After walking through turnstiles similar to Piedmont North, residents would gain access to the hall, Brown said.
“What we are trying to do is slow down the traffic flow. Tap your card and slow it down. So we can identify someone who is trying to tailgate or something like that,” he said.
The greet space will also have a meeting space and staff offices. Down the hall, residents would be able to pick up their packages and mail from the mailroom. Then, three elevators would be waiting on the first floor to take the students to their floor.
Connecting through group activities
Connect spaces are also located on the first floor of the dorm, according to the document. These rooms will be large enough for sponsored campus programs, such as yoga classes and educational seminars.
“We will have a different kind of floor, a harder kind of floor where you can work out on,” Brown said. “So if your group wanted to do yoga, you all could come through with mats.”
Some of those rooms could also have a projector or tv.
Gathering together to watch Netflix
Corvias identified gather spaces with the color purple, which symbolizes wisdom, independence and abundance. Theses rooms would be on each floor and seamlessly feature a microwave, TV and the floor’s laundry room, so that a resident could relax while keeping an eye on the laundry.
T’Anna McIntyre, a Georgia State freshman and Patton Hall resident, said she would love to have a laundry room on every floor, which is unlike how her dorm is set up.
“Sometimes it gets antsy trying to wait on the elevator and to have all your clothes,” she said.
Being alone for productivity
In the Corvias document, the developer called residential units be spaces. These areas are associated with the color orange to symbolize creativity and good health.
Dorm room suites will have card access, like Piedmont North, and will also have a separate bathroom, with the shower on one half of the suite and the toilet and sink on the other half. This is different than the similarly styled Patton Hall, which has a Jack-and-Jill bathroom in between two bedrooms.
“Now you can use a sink. You can use a toilet. You can use the shower without imposing on someone else,” Brown said.
McIntyre said Piedmont Central’s bathroom setup would help residents easily complete their daily routine.
“Sometimes they will be in the shower, and I just have to brush my teeth…and I just go downstairs,” she said.
Students can choose from either a 2-bedroom private suite or a 2-bedroom shared semi suite. Each plan would give the resident a desk and closet.
“Each room would have one loft able bed…that would create a lot more space in the room,” he said. “You are looking at the same space wise as what we are rolling with in Patton Hall.”
Another feature in the suite is that there will be a thermostat controlling each separate dorm room, so that roommates won’t have to fight over it being too cold or too hot anymore.
Current students can cast their bid on a room at Piedmont Central on Seeker’s Day, which is Feb. 3 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. in the Commons Community Room. However, the space for upperclassmen will be limited, Brown said.
“We will just have really few upper-class beds. You are looking at 1,000 first-year students out of 1,052,” he said.
Becoming one with the city
Piedmont Central will have a courtyard in the back, according to Brown. A bike rack will line the courtyard and the space will similar to other student residence halls.
“We try to keep similar stuff like we have in other halls. We could have grills,” he said.
However, the residence hall will not have its own parking, Brown said. Residents would have to share parking spaces with students living in the Commons or Piedmont North.
Brown said he hopes the new dorm will meet the increased demand for housing, since Georgia State consolidated with Georgia Perimeter College.
“We had more than enough applicants last year. So, I think we will have to be intentional about filling those beds,” he said.
He said he hopes University Housing and students can work together to fill all beds by the start of the fall semester.
To McIntyre, a successful first-year residence hall experience is created when students get opportunities to interact with each other.
“There are some people that I would have loved to meet. I know it is still spring and I can. But I have to go out of my way to do it instead of having a huge Patton party or something like,” she said.