Columbus State University
Columbus State University (CSU) serves the Southeast region of the US and attracts students from around the world. The main campus was built on an old dairy farm and encompasses approximately 150 acres in the middle of Columbus, Georgia. CSU had a vision for a true first-year experience (FYE); housing facilitities where the instructor/student interaction leads to better student engagement and improved academic outcomes through living spaces that are designed to integrate learning, community, and individual needs. Under the nine-university partnership with the University System of Georgia (USG), Corvias partnered with CSU to allow them to focus on growing into a top-tier destination campus with expanding programs and degrees, and further strengthen its international outreach and exchange programs.
Clearview Hall (Clearview), the new complex, was constructed atop a hill and overlooks CSU’s main campus including the Thomas Y. Whitley clock tower. Aluminum storefront glass window walls were used for the opposing entry vestibules on the ground floor, as well as for the Gather and Chat spaces located mainly in the central node on each floor for both daylighting and to enhance the visual connection to the outdoors. Originally CSU had requested 500 new beds, the Corvias team was able to deliver 540. The location chosen for Clearview posed several challenges to meet the need for a substantial amount of new housing, including mature landscaping, a non-campus residence adjacent to the site, and a substantial sloping grade. Corvias embraced these challenges during planning and engineering and utilized green infrastructure and low-impact development practices to limit environmental disturbance. The project met Georgia Peach Green Rating System requirements of 2 Peaches. By strategically overcoming these challenges, Corvias is assisting CSU’s overall enrollment management plan by providing a state-of-the-art, attractive facility that is focal point to prospective students and parents during their campus visits.
Clearview offers students large gathering areas for activities and collaboration, community kitchens on the second and fourth floors, and laundry rooms featuring new ozone laundry systems that integrate text messaging notification, a vending area, electronic access system, and two-bedroom semi-suites with shared sleeping areas.
Each semi-suite accommodates four students and contains two shared bathrooms. The design complements the single-occupancy option previously available to underclassmen and marks the first-time freshmen have the cost-effective choice to live with a roommate on the Main campus.
Through sustainable site design and planning, LID and green infrastructure, Corvias created an appealing and attractive student community which uses green spaces for connecting corridors to integrate the new development to the existing campus. Corvias incorporated an advanced stormwater solution for effective and natural filtration and direction of rainwater.
Our Partnership with CSU goes beyond building a new housing complex, to Corvias building the CSU community means open communication and support through our operations and maintenance (O&M) program. The Corvias O&M model goes beyond traditional O&M. Our Program provides established reserves (CR&R and Reinvestment Reserve) that take a proactive approach to assure CSU’s facilities always remain in quality condition and adjust to current campus needs. With over 100,000 beds in the Corvias portfolio we are able to leverage our experience to achieve operating efficiencies and purchasing power for CSU. Within our Partnership CSU and Corvias have a joint governance structure, ensuring program flexibility and aligned interest. CSU and Corvias have a collaborative approach to roles and responsibilities creating an efficient working partnership. Corvias is unique in providing a long-term renovation and replacement plan that renovates and/or replaces all housing included in the partnership at least five times following the initial revitalization period when new improvements take place and select renovations are completed.
CSU also provided Corvias opportunities to engage the students and the surrounding community through programs and organizations that better the community and environment.
Corvias was focused and will remain focused on supporting the local community throughout the partnership. During the initial development phase, much of the work was subcontracted to local and small businesses, boosting the local economy.