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Trio of Building Projects Get Going at Alabama's Jacksonville State University

Wed March 22, 2023 - Southeast Edition
Jacksonville State University News

The first new residence hall since Meehan Hall opened in 2010, the facility is slated to begin housing first-year students in fall 2024. (Rendering courtesy of Jacksonville State University)
The first new residence hall since Meehan Hall opened in 2010, the facility is slated to begin housing first-year students in fall 2024. (Rendering courtesy of Jacksonville State University)

While students and faculty were off campus enjoying their spring break the week of March 20, construction began at Jacksonville State University (JSU) on three new buildings at the Jacksonville, Ala., school in the coming weeks, according to a university news release.

Approved by the JSU Board of Trustees in October, the brand-new facilities include the North Village residence hall to be built behind Sparkman Hall, a new dining facility behind Curtiss Hall and a new football operations center at JSU Stadium.

"JSU continues to be a progressive institution with its dramatic campus transformation capital projects," noted Kevin Hoult, associate vice president of auxiliary and business services. "The university's reimagined campus spaces will enhance a thriving living and learning community that serves present needs, and [will extend] well into the future."

New Places to Live, Eat, Watch Football

JSU's North Village Residence Hall will be the first of its kind built at the university since Meehan Hall opened in 2010 and is slated to begin housing first-year students in fall 2024.

Located next to Crow, Patterson and Sparkman halls, North Village Hall will add 513 much-needed beds to JSU's housing in shared suites consisting of two private, double occupancy rooms with two bathrooms per unit. The building's first floor is planned to serve as the community hub for residents of the facility and will feature a grand lobby with a reception desk, staff workstations and a security office. Students also will enjoy a game room, TV zone, conference room, courtyard seating areas, a first-floor laundry room, storm shelter and self-service vending.

The new Jax State Dining Hall is designed to replace the current 62-year-old Jack Hopper Dining Hall and is planned to be built next to Curtiss Hall. When complete and open, the new facility will include a larger dining space, an executive dining room and administrative offices. Additionally, it will feature a traditional food line with several concept stations and a full preparation kitchen in the back of the house. The modern seating environment will give students a welcoming space in which to connect over a meal.

Finally, the Loring and Debbie White Football Complex will replace the existing field house at JSU Stadium. The two-level facility will include a game day club level/player lounge and field club area on the first floor. The second level will feature eight suites and two corporate super suites with deck access. The new facility is designed to offer modern training equipment and technology, space for hydrotherapy, coach's offices and additional meeting rooms. A central player concourse will allow student-athletes to move efficiently through the building to maximize valuable training time, and a JSU football hall of fame will complete the project, with graphics and displays that highlight the program's history and accomplishments.

JSU officials noted that campus parking will be affected over the next 18 months by these construction projects. More information will be shared by JSU Public Safety through various channels, such as the MyJSU app, emails from the Director of Public Safety, social media, and the Red & White electronic newsletter, to help students, faculty, staff and guests plan their commute to campus as the project continues.

Located in the Appalachian foothills almost midway between Birmingham and Atlanta, JSU has grown from humble beginnings as a state teachers' college in 1883 into the Alabama regional university with the highest percentage of accredited programs. The school had a student enrollment of 9,633 — 8,311 of which were undergraduates — in the fall of 2022.

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