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Lakeland College broke ground for its 10th on-campus residence hall Wednesday, a $2.5 million, 64-bed facility that is expected to be completed in time for the 2008-09 school year.
The new residence hall, which has been temporarily named South Hall, will be located east of Hill House on the southern portion of Lakeland's Sheboygan County campus on a space that had been reserved for future expansion. Quasius Construction, Inc., of Sheboygan is the project's general contractor.
"There is no surer sign of energy, vitality or institutional health than a new building project," said Lakeland president Stephen Gould. "Good schools build to increase their capacity to control their future. It's an investment."
Upon completion, Lakeland will have the capacity for 668 on-campus resident students, said Sandy Gibbons-Vollbrecht, Lakeland's vice president for student affairs.
"It seems like yesterday that we broke ground to begin the building process for Brotz Hall," said Gibbons-Vollbrecht, alluding to the residence hall completed in the fall of 2005. "I believe it is a sign of a healthy, dynamic, growing community that in only a few short years we have once again reached housing capacity and have the need for another residential facility."
Lakeland's new residence hall will be a two-story, "L" shaped building, a total of 17,659 square feet that will consist of two housing sections separated by a common activity section. Architecturally, it will blend in with the adjacent houses (Hill, Morland and Kurtz).
"The shape of the building, its prominent location and the positioning of the activity area will make it an attractive first impression as people approach the campus from the south on County Highway M," said Lewis Apel, Lakeland's director of facility management.
The 64 beds will be in eight student housing pods, similar to the layout in Brotz Hall. Each pod in the new hall will be 1,620 square feet and include three double rooms, two single rooms, a living room, kitchen and two shower/toilet rooms sharing a common lavatory counter area.
The center activity area on the first floor (2,166 square feet.) will be two stories high and include a commons room, small serving kitchen, restrooms, vestibule, mezzanine and mechanical/storage. The commons room will feature a gas fireplace and be wired for flat screens for cable TV and presentation. The room's designed flexibility allows use for relaxation, study, meetings and/or special events. The mezzanine will be accessed via two open stairs and will overlook and supplement the commons.
The building has been designed with energy efficiency in mind, and it will include a state-of-the-art fire sprinkler system to increase the attention to safety for resident students.
Other speakers at Wednesday's groundbreaking included Rob Pockat and Heather Gayton, the president and vice president of Lakeland's Student Association.
"For me, as well as countless others, Lakeland has become my home away from home," said Gayton, who is a resident assistant in Brotz Hall. "Lakeland is a community of diversity with unity, confidence with humility and knowledge with real-life applications."