FVSU unveils dorm addition

FORT VALLEY — While touring the most recent addition to Fort Valley State University’s dormitories, the university’s first lady Betty Rivers recalled her days in the university’s Ohio Hall where her room consisted of a bunk bed and a single bed.

But she said she wound up with the top bunk in a third-floor room with no air conditioning.

It was hot, but she credits her living situation with introducing her to lifelong friends.

When asked whether she would prefer the new facility with all the modern amenities, she responded “absolutely.”

“We want our students to have all the comforts they need to succeed academically,” Rivers said.

Fort Valley State University unveiled the latest addition to its Wildcat Commons student housing complex Friday, and local community leaders, university officials and alumni were on hand to celebrate the dormitory’s opening.

“It feels like just a few years ago we were talking about Wildcat Commons and here it is,” said Calvin Smyre, chairman of the Fort Valley State University Foundation.

The $16 million addition measuring 126,430 square feet adds 378 beds to the campus in suite-style apartments. The addition is equipped with Internet-ready rooms, study areas, large-screen televisions on each floor and video surveillance.

Students, ranging from freshmen to graduate level, will begin using Wildcat Commons’ new addition in the summer semester.

Wildcat Commons first opened to students in fall 2007 with 950 beds and a clubhouse. The project cost $44 million. Hosea Lewis, FVSU’s residential life director, said the new dormitories bring the university’s housing capacity to 2,300 beds.

During Friday’s tour, FVSU President Larry Rivers took the opportunity to have a seat in one of the chairs and take a look around one of the suites.

“We are certain the students will enjoy this facility,” he said.

To contact writer Natasha Smith, call 923-3109, extension 236.