University of North Georgia
The University of North Georgia (UNG) was established as consolidation of North Georgia College & State University and Gainesville State College in 2012. The picturesque campus community is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, approximately an hour north of metro Atlanta, and is widely known for its historic town square. UNG is recognized as one of only six premier senior military colleges in the country, serving both a civilian and military population.
Under a nine-university partnership with the University System of Georgia (USG), this partnership between Corvias and UNG allows UNG to expand their variety of on- campus options available to their non-military student population. With Corvias focused on the design and management of the facilities, housing staff at UNG can focus on students’ personal growth and academic development. Corvias’ goal is to align our mission with UNG’s mandate to “build on a tradition of excellence.”
The north Georgia region boasts stunning waterfalls surrounded by lush forests and abundant wildlife with numerous opportunities for outdoor activities, the UNG campus was designed with this in mind. Corvias paid special attention to incorporating the rolling hills of the Blue Ridge mountains and their commanding presence on campus. Corvias developed two “L”-shaped buildings that span multiple lots atop a hillside, which step back into the slope as it rises enhancing views to the campus center. The topography of the building site provided the new residence with magnificent views of the campus and the surrounding scenery..
The buildings are positioned to create a series of outdoor gathering spaces, as well as a pleasant, open courtyard that faces Sunset. Each building’s entrances are aligned to move students out into the courtyard. Corvias believes that learning not only happens in the classroom but also outdoors while engaging with your fellow students and the faculty and staff.
Corvias built 540 beds and assumed operations for 314 beds in an existing facility. The new residence hall meets Georgia Peach Green Rating System, (2) Peach Certification Level requirements, and contains office, storage, and conference space, community kitchens and laundry rooms, large gathering areas for activities and collaboration, and two-bedroom semi-suites with private and shared sleeping areas and shared bathrooms. The new housing marks the first-time dedicated freshman/underclassman housing has been provided on campus. Baseline design standards focused on updating and improving the quality of housing on campus, as well as maintaining affordability for students and keeping rents consistent across campus.
Utilizing green spaces for connecting corridors or open space Corvias was able to minimize the impact of impervious areas on the natural habitat. Corvias also worked with UNG to protect existing forested areas and other vegetation behind the site that was being utilized by the Biology Department from the College of Science and Mathematics. Corvias carefully planned all stormwater BMPs so as not disrupt the existing vegetation through sustainable site design and planning, Corvias incorporated an advanced stormwater solution for effective and natural filtration and direction of rainwater. Harvesting natural rainwater for reuse contributes to the strategy of reducing overall water consumption by at least 15%, meeting a mandatory requirement for the Georgia Peach Green Building Rating System.
Corvias doesn’t just build the buildings on campus we also build and maintain the community through our award winning Operations and Maintenance (O&M). 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 UNG’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 UNG. Within our Partnership UNG and Corvias have a joint governance structure, ensuring program flexibility and aligned interest. UNG 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.
Corvias implemented our O&M approach across UNG, some key elements include a customized Preventive Maintenance program to address the accessibility challenges with the VTAC units for the existing resident hall. Also, regular inspections of the roof and façade are completed to identify potential issues (landscape overgrowth, ponding on roofs) that could negatively impact useful life. Corvias is also responsible for the housekeeping and room turnover for new residence halls which are managed according to Corvias’ approved maintenance plan.
At Corvias we see ourselves as much more than a solutions provider for higher education, we’re a part of the community. Corvias was honored to team up with the UNG’s Office of Residence Life to provide $30,000 in scholarships to 34 students through the Residence Life Leadership Scholarship Program. The program provides scholarship opportunities for UNG juniors and seniors living in non-cadet housing who hold key leadership positions across campus and maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA. Scholarships in the amount of $500 per semester were automatically awarded to qualifying students involved in various campus organizations including the Student Government Association, Residence Hall Association and UNG Ambassadors for the fall and spring semesters.