The face, the feel and the way people relate to Augusta University is forever changed with the new residence halls on the Health Sciences Campus.
Oak Hall, the undergraduate residence, and Elm Hall, the graduate/professional/non-traditional residence, can accommodate more than 700 students between them and are the first step in the creation of a truly residential campus in Augusta. That is a net gain of about 500 students from previous residence halls on the Health Sciences Campus that were demolished last year.
Graduates began moving into Elm Hall on July 28. Undergraduates will move into Oak Hall on Aug. 13.
Bringing undergraduates and graduates into a community environment is essential in allowing them to excel beyond the classroom experience while encouraging leadership and community involvement in each hall, according to Augusta University’s Office of Housing and Residence Life.
“Augusta University will really morph and change in ways we’ve never seen before. We are creating a new community, and many factors go along with that,” said Vice President for Enrollment and Student Affairs Mark Allen Poisel.
Oak Hall is composed primarily of private, two-bedroom suites with two beds and semi-private, two-bedroom suites with four beds. Each suite is fully furnished and has its own bathroom. The building offers laundry rooms and common kitchenette areas with an oven/stove and full-size refrigerator.
Elm Hall has fully furnished studio, one-bedroom, one-bath and two-bedroom, two-bath apartments, each with its own kitchen and breakfast bar. The building also offers laundry rooms.
In addition to living spaces, Oak and Elm also offer a variety of chat, gather and connect spaces for studying and social interaction. These spaces, found on each floor of the state-of-the-art residence halls, offer traditional table-and-chair seating, soft seating for lounging and expansive views of the Health Sciences Campus through large windows.
Each residence hall is U-shaped, with a large, open green space in the middle, which Poisel envisions students using to their advantage with friendly games of Frisbee or football or movies on the lawn.
“We’ll see it right away, and then some. There will be a significant number of people living on campus so you’ll see students wandering around, and you’ll see people just out and about. It will definitely change that perspective,” Poisel said. “The interactive piece will be at a level we’ve never seen before.”
Graduate and professional students at Elm Hall are only steps away from their classes and clinical spaces, and undergraduates at Oak Hall can hop on a Jaguar Express shuttle and get to their classes on the Summerville Campus in mere minutes. Oak Hall and Elm Hall are also conveniently located within easy walking distance to the Student Center and Wellness Center, Student Health and Greenblatt Library.
Security is controlled 24/7 at both residence halls with key card entry and security camera features. Several Housing and Residence Life professional staff will also live in the buildings in addition to students.
The refreshed Student Center and its Atrium Dining Hall will support this residential community very well, said Director of Auxiliary Services Karl Munschy.
The Atrium Dining Hall can now seat 278 people, and its new food service line features display cooking, hot entrees, deli and grill selections, pizza, a salad bar, dessert bar and beverage station. The second floor resembles a home’s living room with lounge seating and flat-screen TVs.
“This was a very intentional effort with Student Services,” Munschy said. “The Student Center is much more inviting, more ‘hipper.’”