On the west side of the Tyler Junior College campus, school officials ceremonially broke ground on a new residence hall on Wednesday.
The hall, which will house 248 students, is set to open along South Magnolia Drive in fall 2015.
It will be the ninth residential facility on campus and will bring the number of students living on campus to about 1,250, according to a TJC news release.
The building will be four stories and 68,000 -square-feet. It will provide common spaces on the ground floor, including a campus plaza, lobby seating, game lounge, computer lab, dining area with a Chick-fil-A restaurant and resident laundry facilities.
The hall’s upper floors will be divided into two wings, each having its own study nook and daylight exposure in common corridors.
The two wings on each floor will share a common media/study lounge and have views of the plaza and TJC campus.
Diana Karol, TJC’s director of auxiliary services, said the dorm rooms will be suite style with two people to a room and two rooms sharing a full bathroom. SmithGroup JJR is designing the residence hall and HGR+Turner Joint Venture is building it.
Dr. Kim Russell, TJC’s vice president for advancement/external relations, said when the college opened the Louise H. and Joseph Z. Ornelas Residential Complex in 2008, she never dreamed how successful it would be.
TJC President Dr. Mike Metke said they have turned away a lot of students each year. There are often more than 500 on the waiting list for on-campus housing. The additional beds in this new dorm will help with the waiting list, Metke said. And he expects the demand for the dorm to be high because of the increase of students expected with the opening of the Rogers Nursing and Health Sciences Center in January 2015.
Metke said the project will cost a maximum of $20 million.
In January, the TJC board approved the sale of the combined fee revenue bonds to fund this project. The true interest cost is 3.646 percent over 20 years and Sarah Van Cleef, the college’s vice president for business affairs, said the college will pay back the debt with revenue from housing and auxiliary funds.