Before Kaitlin Pniewski even toured Building 1516, the graduate resident had very high expectations based on the buzz surrounding UGA’s new residence hall at East Campus that she now calls home.
“It turned out to be more beautiful than anything I imagined,” said Pniewski, a graduate student in the College of Education who earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from UGA in May. “Every aspect of the building, from the catering kitchen to the multi-purpose room, is stylish and functional. I know all the extra ‘hang-out’ rooms will be put to good use with our residents.”
Building 1516, UGA’s first “green” residence hall, opened Aug. 9 to more than 500 upperclass students. The hall offers spacious residential and community areas in a retro-modern design and incorporates eco-friendly programs into everyday life for a complete “Living Green” experience.
“I cannot believe how many study rooms there are, equipped with dry erase boards, single desks, and large study tables. Residents won’t have to trek to the MLC during finals week,” said Pniewski.
A dedication ceremony will be held Aug. 18 at 10 a.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room on the first floor of Building 1516, located adjacent to East Campus Village. The public is invited to the dedication ceremony, as well as to the reception and open house with tours of the building immediately following the ceremony.
Although it is near East Campus Village, the traditional style rooms are different from the apartment-style living offered in the neighboring community. The hall is part of the Reed community, and the rooms are set up much like those in Reed Hall, with double and single rooms and private bath accommodations for each room. The hall, whose rooms have nine-month academic contracts, features carpeted rooms, loftable twin beds, laundry and kitchen facilities throughout the building, high-speed Internet access and biometric hand readers for secure resident access.
“As part of University Housing’s commitment to provide more students with comfortable, affordable and secure housing options, we are excited to have a new residence hall that meets demands for housing, addresses the needs and interests of the new generation of environmentally conscientious students and supports their academic and personal growth,” said Gerry Kowalski, University Housing executive director. “We have listened to what is important to students over the years, and we are meeting their needs by providing amenities such as in-room temperature controls and private bathrooms so that they are free to concentrate on other fundamental concerns like academic success and personal achievement.”
Keeping students’ interests in mind, the “Living Green” philosophy is the fundamental concept of the new hall. The university has implemented numerous green elements into the new residence hall and is seeking LEED certification now that construction is completed and residents have moved in. Promotion of community connectivity, physical activity and pollution reduction help reinforce the “Living Green” practices of the new building.
Students are within walking distance of East Campus amenities such as the Ramsey Student Center for Physical Activities, Joe Frank Harris Commons, the University Health Center and the Performing and Visual Arts Complex. Interior bike storage, as well as easy access to residential parking and bus routes, is provided to promote alternative modes of transportation.
Jonathan Jones, a second-year biochemical engineering student and 2009 Coca-Cola Scholar, is an resident assistant living in the building.
“I love the Reed Community’s Building 1516 because it represents the steps that the University of Georgia is taking toward a more sustainable way of living for students as well as the surrounding community,” he said. “Every time I utilize the shower or sink, I think of how I am doing my part to conserve water and prevent waste with the gray-water system.”