Tusculum breaks ground on residence halls

 More than 100 people attended groundbreaking ceremonies Saturday for two residence halls at the Greeneville campus of Tusculum College.

 Representatives from the college, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the community participated in the event.

 According to Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody, the residence halls are on track to be completed for student occupancy in August.

 The apartment-style halls, which were designed by area architect John Fisher, will accommodate 120 students.

 The halls will be located on the Gilland Street side of the Tusculum campus near four existing apartmentstyle residence halls.

 Burleson Construction is the project’s general contractor, and First Tennessee Bank is providing the construction financing.

 The school also received a $6 million Community Facilities direct loan from the USDA’s Rural Development Office to help pay for the construction.

 “Tusculum College and Rural Development share a common goal: providing opportunities for Tennesseans to succeed,” said Rural Development Area Director Joe Woody. “This partnership has allowed us to focus our efforts on expanding those opportunities across Northeast Tennessee quickly.”

 Moody said Tusculum has needed additional residence hall space for a few years due to the campus’s high occupancy rates, which she said are more than 100 percent.

 “With record on-campus living numbers, we have utilized every resource available to us, including increasing the occupancy in existing residence halls and utilizing off-campus housing. These new residence halls will provide additional on-campus housing to accommodate the many students who want to live on campus,” Moody said.

 Cierra Ockstadt, a Tusculum junior from Portland, Tenn., said it’s exciting to see growth on campus.

 “A healthy Tusculum College is good for the community and the region,” the accounting major said, “The college serves as an economic development stimulant: increasing the sales potential for new companies considering the area and creating an educated and engaged population to continue the development of our community.”

 “Construction is the most visible sign of an institution in good health,” Kenneth A. Bowman said. “It shows we have a student population that has grown over the past several years and is currently thriving on our campus.”

 Bowman is a 1970 graduate of Tusculum College and chair of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees.

 “The Board is pleased with progress and direction of Tusculum College, and we are excited to work with President Moody and cabinet, faculty, staff and students to keep this momentum alive well into the future,” he added.

Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 12:49 pm