East Georgia State College
East Georgia State College (EGSC), is recognized as the educational leader in the rural town of Swainsboro priding itself on supporting a student’s success beyond educational experience. EGSC prioritizes its students’ growth through an all access institution. As one of nine institutions included in Corvias’ 65-year partnership with the University System of Georgia (USG), Corvias worked closely with our partner EGSC, to create the new Bobcat Villas West. As EGSC is a smaller, intimate, rural campus making the need for a campus community essential. While working with EGSC in the design phase Corvias discovered a need for enhanced connectivity from the new student housing site to both the adjacent Shot Strange Clubhouse and existing 200 bed facility Bobcat Villas South and the student activity center/dining facility. The connection creates valuable opportunities for student social interaction on this access institution campus.
Corvias added the new residence hall to the left of the existing housing, Bobcat Villas South, to enhance the sense of community for EGSC students. The design provides a total of 212 beds in 71,574 SF over three levels in a single boomerangshaped building. The facility features 4-bedroom suites in-line with the campus master plan and for uniformity of unit type with the existing residence hall. All student bedrooms are single occupancy and each suite contains two shared bathrooms, with vanities and sinks located outside of the shower and toilet areas. Each suite includes a kitchenette to ensure students have a fully functional private space, while still encouraging gathering in shared spaces and key locking security for each mutual living quarters. Additionally, a Resident Director’s apartment has been provided on the first floor to centralize access for students. The apartment contains two bedrooms and one bathroom with a roll-in shower, with a full kitchen and separate space for the washer and dryer units. A separate office for the Resident Director is also directly connected to the apartment.
The first floor of the center node of the building is the heart of the Bobcat Villas West. The 900 SF Great Lobby area has the reception area as well as open space. The open space fosters interaction and bonding between the residents. The social connect space is 1,340 SF perfect for larger groups, such as campus clubs and organizations to meet and mingle. To support the living-learning environment, a learning lab is adjacent to the Greet space and is set up as a classroom with computers, flat screen monitor, and podium. In addition, the Resident Director’s office and suite, reception, mail storage and security office are located on the first floor of the central node. The Villas are equipped with an integrated security system for the whole building.
Essential to site planning and engineering, Corvias committed to LID and use of green infrastructure. Corvias utilized green spaces for connecting corridors and open space and minimized the impact of impervious areas. Prior to clearing, the site was part open field and part densely wooded. Through sustainable site design and planning, Corvias was able to incorporate an advanced stormwater solution for effective and natural filtration and direction of rainwater causing minimum impact to the natural habitat.
Corvias partnered with EGSC to not only build new beds but to build a community. The Corvias operations team works with the students daily and has gotten to know many of them. Corvias isn’t there just building and maintaining, they have become a part of the campus community, supporting the students and now have become huge fans of the basketball teams, both men’s and women’s. Basketball is a huge part of the campus culture and it didn’t take long for that to rub off on the Corvias team. Team members are in no way shown preferential treatment but a few traditions have crept into the Corvias routine in support of them including a holiday dinner and Gatorade giveaways for students on special game days.
The first tradition was a Thanksgiving dinner cooked by two members of the Corvias team, the basketball players don’t get to go home over the holiday due to their game schedule. Knowing the importance of togetherness over the holidays, Corvias team cooked a holiday meal and brought it to the dorms for the team. The other students left on campus wandered down and were invited to join in. Every year since the same two Corvias team members have made the same ham and turkey dinner with all of the sides for all students left on campus for the holidays.
The Basketball team aren’t the only ones getting attention from the Corvias team. One year the Booster club was having financial difficulties with its annual sports banquet. Knowing they were huge supporters of the campus sports teams the students came to the Corvias team and asked for assistance. Corvias was able to provide $2,000 of Corvias’ own money, not money from the partnership fund, to help the students hold their banquet.
The students have learned to rely on the Corvias team for community support and also, to keep their campus running efficiently. To keep the campus running smoothly Corvias works directly with campus officials daily to make sure all parties involved in the partnership have their goals aligned. At EGSC Corvias has quarterly meetings with campus officials to give status reports on current projects, discuss capital plans for yearly improvements and to prioritize future projects. Corvias continuously works with the College staff to prioritize Capital projects and insure the students’ needs are met. Within our Partnership EGSC and Corvias have a joint governance structure, ensuring program flexibility and aligned interest.