The state approved the $210 million first stage of USC’s Campus Village project for four residential buildings and 30,000 square feet of dining space in the university’s largest capital project so far. The village will create 1,800 beds to house the growing student population at USC on the site of Cliff Apartments in the area near Stone Stadium.
“The Campus Village project will allow us to better serve the needs of generations of future Gamecocks,” university President Bob Caslen said. “It is a proven fact that grade point averages and retention rates increase with first year on-campus housing.”
Construction for Campus Village will begin in February and is projected to be finished in fall 2022. Students who live in Cliff Apartments this semester will be reassigned to housing around campus next semester so the university can start construction.
“We know that students who live on campus typically become more engaged members of the community and perform better academically,” Dennis Pruitt, the vice president for student affairs and vice provost, said. “The Campus Village development will allow for more students to have that opportunity beyond their freshman year.”
While the original plan for the first phase of the project included a 945-spot parking garage for Campus Village residents, this plan includes a temporary parking area.
“It also offers students the kind of amenities they’re looking for in a modern living-learning community while making it easier for them to get to-and-from central campus,” Student Body President Luke Rankin said.
The first floor of the five- to six-story residential buildings will have dining space such as a coffee shop, a sundry store and other dining options from Aramark, USC’s food service provider. The dining space will likely be bigger than Russell House’s dining area, university spokesman Jeff Stensland said, and it will be buffet style to move students through lines quickly. There will also be a shuttle stop, new bike lanes and a safety office.
The village is designed to feel like the Horseshoe with a lot of trees, grass space and walkways, Stensland said. There is also a plan to include landscaped communal space, or social stairs, for students to sit on.
Stensland said the leaders of the project worked with the community around the site's area to ensure USC's neighbors approved of the project and the way the village would look in their backyard.
“Through close collaboration, Campus Village will be a historic undertaking of which we can all be proud,” Caslen said.
The rooms in the residence halls will have traditional and suite styles, where two students will be in a room with the bathroom down the hall or two people in a room connected to a bathroom and another room with two other people. This will offer two different housing prices for students.
The project's $210 million budget will be paid off by students living in the residence halls in the first 30 years of its use.
“Students have long needed additional on-campus housing options, and Campus Village will deliver that,” Rankin said. “I can’t wait to see the completed project and hope it will serve students for many decades to come.”