October is target date for Livingstone residence hall completion
By Sarah Nagem
A major construction project is under way at Livingstone College for the first time in about 30 years.
The school is building a multi-story residence hall that will be one of the tallest buildings on campus.
The hall will house 235 students in single rooms, said State Alexander, executive assistant to the president and director of public relations at Livingstone.
Construction began in mid-May and will likely be finished in October, Alexander said.
The campus’ addition is coming at a time when Livingstone is expecting a jump in enrollment.
“We anticipate having a larger (freshman) class this year,” Alexander said.
The school is ready for 500 incoming freshmen after the summer break. Last fall, the freshman class consisted of 394 students, he said.
Alexander attributes the influx of students to aggressive marketing strategies.
“I think we’ve just been a lot more personable, a lot more on-one-one,” he said. “We’ve been assertive about recruiting students from North and South Carolina.”
School leaders have been going to high schools and churches across the region to draw students to Livingstone, Alexander said.
He said new facilities help attract students. And Alexander hopes the setup of the new residence hall will appeal to students.
The single rooms will allow students to have more quiet time, he said.
“I think it helps them become a lot more independent sooner,” Alexander said.
Every two rooms will share a bathroom.
The school doesn’t have plans to close any of its five other residence halls. But about 60 students might eventually move out of Dodge Hall so workers can renovate the building, Alexander said.
Livingstone hasn’t been in the business of new construction for years. The school built a maintenance facility in the mid-1990s. Some buildings have been renovated, but new buildings have been rare.
Many students live off campus because space at the residence halls is limited.
The new building might be a sign of things to come, Alexander said.
“I think it’s a precursor of the new growth that’s happening on the campus,” he said.