Daytona State College kicked off construction of the new student residence hall with a groundbreaking ceremony earlier this year. Projected to open in August 2022, the facility will be located on the Daytona Beach Campus and will begin a new chapter in the life of the college.
The four-story hall will provide 52,505 square feet of living, study and recreational space for up to 252 students. For some, having a place to live and study on campus is the deciding factor in where they go to school, and Daytona State will now be on a short list of eight state colleges — out of 28 in Florida — that offer on-campus housing. Approximately 180 student-athletes will make this their new home and the remainder of the spaces will be occupied by full-time, degree-seeking students.
“All of our studies and surveys have shown that students would rather live closer together than further apart, not only in relation to each other but to campus,” said Daytona State President Dr. Thomas LoBasso. “A more interactive environment with their peers increases their sense of well-being and leads to higher levels of academic and personal achievement. And that’s what has really driven this entire process. It’s about taking care of our students and making sure they have the best chance to thrive in college and beyond. Those have always been our goals, and by offering affordable housing on-site, just a few steps away from many other important resources, we’re staying true to our mission of providing open access to a college education for everyone, no matter their personal circumstances.”
Daytona State is already nationally recognized for its many outstanding degree programs, and the on-campus housing option will become an even larger draw for those wishing to enroll in special programs such as the Associate of Science in Photographic Technology degree and Nursing programs. Providing affordable housing and a vibrant college community makes DSC even more attractive to potential students from within Central Florida and from outside this region.
The modern, state-of-the-art building design will allow residents to enjoy fully furnished rooms with amenities including laundry facilities, study areas and recreation space on each floor. The first floor will also feature a conference room for group study, as well as additional recreation areas and space for students to relax or spend time with friends. Students responded to surveys early in the process, and administrators met with Student Government Association members to discuss design plans.
The building’s location was strategically chosen in order to put students in close proximity to all of the services and amenities the cCollege already offers, including the Academic Support Center, dining hall, library, fitness center and aquatic facility. When combined with the infrastructure already in place, the new residence hall allows DSC to utilize its facilities to their greatest potential while enhancing campus life for students and improving retention.
“For many years now, Daytona State has provided off-campus housing a few miles away for scholarship student-athletes, while also assisting many others in finding a place to live while they attend school,” said Dr. Randall Howard, DSC District Board of Trustees chair. “It’s worked for us, and the students have been appreciative, but we’ve always wanted to do more, and now we can. Having students on campus where they can live and study together provides a much greater sense of community along with more opportunities for social interaction.”
The decision to offer on-campus housing dates back to 2016 when it was an element of a five-year master plan developed by the District Board of Trustees. The plan included iconic new buildings, landscape improvements, a re-imagined athletic complex and residence halls. Many of those elements have already come to life, including the stunning L. Gale Lemerand Student Center and the soccer stadium.
“Students choose to come here because they know they’re getting a quality education at an affordable cost, and this new residence hall further demonstrates the College’s commitment to both,” said Garry Lubi, DSC District Board of Trustees member and DSC Housing Corporation chair. “At a time when there’s been a lot of discussion about the cost of education in the United States, the value of the Florida College System really shines, and that’s even more apparent here at Daytona State. On-campus housing, along with the opportunities that come with it, is another way in which we can significantly reduce the expense for our students and ensure they won’t be priced out of a college degree.”
Students have already started contacting Admissions to put their names in to be notified once the housing application is active. Anyone interested in learning more about the residence hall and living on campus can visit DaytonaState.edu/Housing.
––Special to EVOLVE Digital