MILLIGAN COLLEGE –– Construction has begun on what will be a modern student housing village at Milligan College.
Site work for the first phase of the multi-million dollar project was started a few months ago, Milligan President Bill Greer said. Earlier this week, earth-moving equipment could be seen on the far “back” side of campus, where a large site has been cleared and dirt retaining walls have been put in place. This land was purchased a few years ago for expansion of the campus.
The first phase of the housing village will consist of five buildings that should be ready by fall 2013.
“Ultimately that’s a 12-building complex,” Greer said. “We’re working on five of the buildings during this phase, which will add about 90 new beds for us, as well as some community space and some laundry space and some other services for our residential students.”
The whole project is expected to cost between $10 million and $11 million.
Construction was able to begin this year by a gift of more than $4.7 million toward the site preparation and construction from Richard and Leslie Gilliam, of Charlottesville, Va. The Gilliams also donated the funds for the construction of Milligan’s Gilliam Wellness Center, and they support an endowed scholarship in memory of Richard’s father, Marvin, who was a 1939 graduate of Milligan.
“We’re very grateful for (the Gilliams’) continued support of Christian higher education and in helping us in our efforts to make the Milligan campus an even better community and provide an even better residential experience for our students.”
The next phase of the new village will be funded via other means.
“We are always raising money,” Greer said. “We are always looking for additional funding. We will continue to raise funds for our residence project as it goes not just through the first phase but into the second and if there’s a third phase.”
Milligan has not built new dorms in about 25 years. This new complex will be markedly different in that they are more like apartments than traditional dormitory rooms.
“They’re really not dorms,” Greer said. “You could call them residence halls but they are suites. Each building has four five-bedroom suites in it. So it gives students a bit more of a private residence feel, while still having some community, certainly, to it.”
Once completed, the entire housing project will take Milligan’s on-campus housing capacity from 600 beds to approximately 800 beds.
Milligan’s enrollment has grown from 843 students in 2002 to 1,208 students this past school year.
Greer expected this year’s enrollment to be between 1,150 and 1,200 students.
“It’s a moving target until everybody stops long enough to be counted,” he said. “We’re not looking for a record enrollment this year. We’ve begun to graduate some pretty large classes as we have begun enrolling them. So we don’t really look to be over what we were last year but we do expect a solid enrollment.
“And our (housing) project is designed for future growth,” he said. “And this year, even if we’re flat compared to last year, we are even now developing some additional programs and changes that we think will continue the growth trend that Milligan has been on for the past several years.”