As Georgia Southern University housing staff are gearing up to welcome students back into their residence halls this fall, construction crews have begun work that will expand and improve on-campus housing options for next year.
Joseph E. Kennedy Hall, which was taken offline in January of 2019, is undergoing a $16.4 million renovation to address HVAC deficiencies and renovate all interior spaces.
The University had to close Kennedy Hall out of an abundance of caution for the safety of residents after mold was discovered in some areas as the crews were assessing the building’s HVAC system at the end of the fall 2018 semester. The mold was only in sealed areas away from students but officials decided it was safest to move 335 students out for the spring 2019 semester.
The University System of Georgia recently approved a bond package to renovate Kennedy Hall and work has already begun. The project is scheduled for completion in July 2021 with Kennedy reopening for occupancy in August 2021.
“We are excited to get Kennedy Hall renovated and have that space available again for our students,” said Peter Blutreich, executive director of University Housing at Georgia Southern. “Kennedy Hall will provide a great community and program that supports both a student’s personal and academic success. Overall we are very fortunate that on-campus housing continues to be in high-demand due to the care, engagement and education University Housing and GS provides to our residential students.”
Opened in 1998, Kennedy Hall is primarily for first-year students. It includes a large multi-purpose room, floor activities, and also features a large forested courtyard with outdoor grills and picnic tables. Kennedy Hall is a more traditionally styled building with shared bedrooms in both traditional suites and apartments. The shared bedrooms provide a great opportunity to establish the relationships with other residents.
Renovations include a full HVAC replacement, new flooring, new drywall, new paint, new lighting, refreshed restrooms and new furniture. The project is directed by design firm Collins Cooper Carusi and general contractor Lavender & Associates.
In addition to the renovations at Kennedy Hall, the University is also undergoing a two-year cycle of summer renovations at Freedom’s Landing, which provides apartment-style housing to almost 1,000 students.
Summer 2020 renovations at Freedom’s Landing include structural analysis and repairs to exterior stairwells, rain gutter and downspout replacements, bathroom exhaust fan replacements, and some interior repainting. Summer 2021 renovations are scheduled to include HVAC replacements, window and trim replacement, patio door replacements and some interior painting.
Keeping Freedom’s Landing up-to-date is especially important as the University will no longer be using University Villas, which has been found to have structural issues.
For Fall 2020, student housing capacity at Georgia Southern is approximately 5,350 total beds (4,050 in Statesboro and 1,300 at Armstrong in Savannah).
For Fall 2021, student housing capacity at Georgia Southern is expected to be approximately 5,670 total beds (4,470 in Statesboro and 1,200 at Armstrong in Savannah).