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October 18, 2007

Middle Georgia College Modernizes Residence Halls Through Privatized Student Housing, Expands GAMES Program for High School Juniors and Seniors

Lord, Aeck & Sargent designs buildings to achieve a Southern collegiate feel 

COCHRAN, Ga., Oct. 18, 2007 – With the completion of three new residence halls and an academic/recreational student activity facility, Middle Georgia College (MGC) officials are well on the way to reaching their goal of modernizing all student housing and increasing enrollment on the college’s main campus.

The residence halls – Gateway, Harris and Anderson – and the academic/recreational space – Welch Hall – were designed by the Atlanta office of architectural firm Lord, Aeck &Sargent.

While the $1.7 million Welch Hall was funded by the University System of Georgia, Gateway, Harris and Anderson, with a combined construction cost of $18.9 million, are examples of a nationwide trend toward privatized student housing on college and university campuses. The project was achieved through a public-private partnership between the Lord, Aeck & Sargent / Middle Georgia College.  College and its Foundation, which formed an LLC that borrowed the money through bond sales. 

“Middle Georgia College chose to build its new dorms in partnership with its Foundation so that the College could retain control over the operations and occupancy of the dorms. We felt this arrangement was in the best interest of the college and our students in order to maintain a safe, collegiate environment,” said Richard Federinko, MGC president. 

Joe Greco, who was the Lord, Aeck & Sargent design principal for the buildings, noted that while privatized student housing needs to be built economically, the design team worked hard to achieve a collegiate solution in the tradition of creating quadrangles and green spaces.

“In order to create a collegiate feel, we created pleasant, daylit common gathering  spaces and new green spaces that can be used as ‘outdoor rooms,’” Greco said. “We also contributed to the campus fabric by using red brick masonry, columns and porches in the tradition of Southern college campuses.”

Gateway Residence Hall is suite-style housing where students have a single room and share a common bath with one other student. The three-story, 88,125-square-foot facility has 296 rooms in two wings connected by a signature gateway that forms a hub.

Harris Hall replaced a dormitory by the same name that was demolished to make room for the new residence hall. At 56,100 square feet, the three-story structure has 156 beds. Apartment-style units each have four bedrooms, two baths, a living room and a kitchenette with a full-size refrigerator, sink and counter.

While Gateway and Harris are for college-level students, Anderson and Welch Halls were designed especially for high school juniors and seniors attending the Georgia Academy of Aviation, Mathematics and Engineering Science, or GAMES program. The two-year accelerated program gives these high schoolers a diploma, a college associates degree and
the ability to transfer to a four-year institution as a junior.

Greco noted that Anderson Hall is intended to foster a living-learning experience and to work in conjunction with Welch Hall, the public face of the GAMES program located in front of Anderson.

Anderson is a 59,886-square-foot, 257-bed building with 63 units, each including two double occupancy rooms that share a bath. The three-story building will allow an eventual student population of 250 in the GAMES program.

Welch Hall, a one-story, 10,000-square-foot building comprising two wings, gives GAMES students their own advising, studying and recreational spaces. A “quiet” wing includes study spaces, administrative offices, a conference room and a resource center used for testing, lectures, workshops and A/V presentations. The other wing is designed for student activities such as pool, ping-pong and video games and includes a community kitchen and a multi-purpose room that can be used as a theater.

“Since Anderson Hall has limited space for GAMES participants to socialize, we created a ‘noisy’ wing akin to a residential great room,” Greco said. “It was built economically
and designed to be architecturally compatible with the three new residence halls. Welch’s design makes use of natural light, with high clerestory windows and ceilings that feature
exposed glue laminated wood trusses.”

More Residence Halls to Come

In another privatized student housing phase in which construction will begin by year’s end, MGC will achieve its goal of modernizing its residence halls. The phase will include the demolition of one existing hall and construction of two new Lord, Aeck & Sargent-designed facilities. Construction is expected to be completed by fall semester 2009.

Once these new residence halls are completed, the college, which already has increased enrollment by more than 50 percent in the last five years – attributable to the newly completed student housing and to MGC’s increased marketing efforts – will have 1,500 students living on campus.

The Project Team

The project team for all four Middle Georgia College buildings comprised:

  • Lord, Aeck & Sargent, Inc. (Atlanta), architect
  • Hendessi & Associates (Atlanta), program manager
  • Andrews, Hammock & Powell Inc. (Macon, Ga.), MEP/FP engineer
  • KSi/Structural Engineers (Atlanta), structural engineer
  • Carter & Sloope Inc. (Macon, Ga.), civil engineer and landscape architect
  • Choate Construction Co. (Atlanta), construction manager

About Lord, Aeck & Sargent

Lord, Aeck & Sargent is an award-winning architectural firm serving clients in scientific, academic, historic preservation, arts and cultural, and multi-family housing and mixed-use markets. The firm’s core values are responsive design, technological expertise and exceptional service. Lord, Aeck & Sargent has offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Atlanta; and
Chapel Hill, North Carolina. For more information, visit the firm at www.lordaecksargent.com.

About Middle Georgia College

Middle Georgia College is a state college unit of the University System of Georgia with a focus on providing constituents access to certificate, associate and select baccalaureate programs in
academic transfer or occupation related programs of study. As a multi-campus institution, MGC pursues innovative opportunities to provide services to its traditional and non-traditional
students primarily from rural areas of south central Georgia. MGC’s historic main campus in Cochran offers academic programs of study through the
baccalaureate degree for commuting and residential students.

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