Huntington breaks ground on new residence hall

Huntington, Ind.—Huntington University broke ground for a new residence hall today.

The facility is designed to house 156 undergraduate students, primarily freshmen and sophomores. Construction will begin this month and will be completed in time for move-in for the fall 2008 semester.

President Dr. G. Blair Dowden breaks ground with a bulldozer as Steve Fetters of Fetters Construction Co. watches.
“We do not anticipate that this new hall will be filled to capacity when it opens in 2008,” said Jesse Brown, assistant dean of student development. “However, it will accommodate our anticipated enrollment in 2009 and 2010.”

During the 2006-2007 academic year, campus housing was at 93 percent of total capacity.

Steve Fetters, Joel Blum of Interdesign Group, Dr. G. Blair Dowden, Mayor Terry Abbett, Jesse Brown, Ronald Ramsey, Ed Souers and Julie McCoy break ground with chrome-plated shovels.
The event featured two groundbreakings, one with chrome-plated shovels used by the building’s planning committee and Ed Souers, chairman of the university’s board of trustees, and a second with Dr. G. Blair Dowden, president of the university, on a bulldozer. Approximately 125 spectators attended the ceremony.

Brown provided the welcome and invocation. Huntington Mayor Terry Abbett offered greetings. Dowden, Souers and Julie McCoy, a member of the planning committee and a sophomore at Huntington, gave remarks. Dr. George Killian, Department of Music chairman, led a hymn, and Bishop Ronald Ramsey of the United Brethren in Christ Church, closed the ceremony with a benediction.

Jerry Gressley, Beth Hale, Katie Rodgers, Jerry White, Drew Clay and Jesse Brown break ground with chrome-plated shovels.
“This new facility has been specifically designed to foster community and nurture friendships,” Dowden said. “It will include many features specifically recommended by students to create a vibrant living-learning environment. Residence life is a vital part of the Huntington University experience—a key building block in the blueprints of a life-shaping education. Our residence halls provide unique opportunities for students to work out the integration of faith and learning.”

Huntington mayor Terry Abbett makes his remarks as (left to right) Jesse Brown, Dr. G. Blair Dowden, Ed Souers, Julie McCoy and Ronald Ramsey look on.
“Next year, freshmen and sophomores will begin living in this new residence hall,” said McCoy, an elementary education major from Fort Wayne, Ind. “Here is where some of their fondest college memories will be made. This will be the place where floor Bible studies will lead to unity and community. Hours will be spent procrastinating finals by inventing new games. Conversations with people on the floor will lead to lasting friendships. Time will be spent pondering what life will hold beyond Huntington.”

Huntington University student Julie McCoy makes her remarks as (left to right) Jesse Brown, Terry Abbett, Dr. G. Blair Dowden, Ed Souers and Ronald Ramsey look on.
Indianapolis-based InterDesign Group, Inc., created the design concept for the new residence hall, which is architecturally consistent with Miller and Meadows halls. The building will sit across from Miller and Meadows with the front entrance facing Lake Street. Fetters Construction Co. of Auburn, Ind., is the general contractor for the project. The same firm built the Science Hall and renovated Brenn Hall.

At a June 26 meeting, the City of Huntington Common Council unanimously approved both the second and third readings of an ordinance that allows the city to serve as a conduit for a tax-exempt bond issuance for the residence hall project without any cost or risk to the city.

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Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).  


Heather Barkley
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