Calhoun and the State of Athens add a new residence
Calhoun and the State of Athens hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new residence halls at the Alabama Center for the Arts (ACA) in Decatur.
DECATUR, Ala. – Today, Calhoun Community College and Athens State University held a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the construction of new residence halls at the Alabama Center for the Arts (ACA) in downtown Decatur.
“Today is a great day for Calhoun, the State of Athens and the City of Decatur,” commented Dr. Jimmy Hodges, Calhoun Acting President. “It was a project that we had planned to work on in the future, but today bears the fruit of the excellent work and dedication of our elected officials, the municipal administration and the institutions that have deployed the work needed to achieve it now, and for that, I couldn’t be prouder,” Hodges said.
“We’ve seen an increase in enrollment, and at both colleges in the Alabama Center for the Arts. And we know it brings a unique touch to the people of downtown Decatur, and we’re thrilled about that,” adds Hodges. .
According to Hodges, the 3-story, 43,474-square-foot residence hall will be the ACA’s first-ever dormitory for students. The new state-of-the-art living center will feature 49 apartments with a mix of 11 studios, 19 one-bedroom units and 19 two-bedroom units for a total of 68 beds, which includes both ADA (Americans with Disabilities ACT) and adaptable units . Students living in the dorms will have amenities such as a refrigerator, stove/oven, microwave, dishwasher, washer and dryer, and high-speed internet connection.
The building will also be equipped with a 250 mph rated storm shelter on the first floor to accommodate all residents. Indoor common areas will include a post office, rental office, as well as a study area with computer labs on all three floors.
The building will be secure as keyless access cards are required to enter the building and will be provided to each resident student. CCTV cameras will also be placed on all exterior entrances and exits to the building to add an extra layer of security.
“I remember the first time I interviewed to be president of Athens State University,” commented Dr Phillip Way. “One of the things that stood out to me was the dynamic and close relationship between Calhoun and the State of Athens. It’s one that I’ve seen continue to grow strongly and, as a result, our collaborative effort through through the ACA also continues to grow. It is so exciting that people from all over the world can now attend our arts center without worrying about where they will live. Our achievements today will only continue to expand our programs at ACA and I couldn’t be happier,” Way added.
The Alabama Center for the Arts (ACA) represents a unique partnership between Calhoun Community College, Athens State University, and the city of Decatur. Individuals seeking a career or hobby in the arts can attend the ACA.
The degree program was created as a joint effort of Calhoun and the State of Athens.
Those interested in a career can easily earn an associate degree from Calhoun and continue under the same roof to complete their Athens State bachelor’s degree.
“It took four years to get here,” says Alabama Senator Arthur Orr.
“During a visit to the ACA a few years ago, I met an instructor from Athens State who was walking through the halls. I casually asked him what we could do to make the ‘ACA more visible and appealing to prospective students, and the instructor simply responded by saying, dorms,” Orr commented. “After careful consideration, I knew what the instructor said was exactly what lacked the ACA among its competitors. It’s hard to attract people from outside North Alabama without providing convenient accommodations,” Orr said.
“Student housing was a very important factor, and that set me in motion, working with Governor Ivey and working to provide the funding, ticked off the first domino and so we are where we are today.”
The primary goal and goal of all parties involved in the ACA is to attract more students and increase enrollment. Senator Arthur Orr, with the help of both institutions, developed a student housing proposal to present to Governor Ivey in January 2020. The Governor approved $15 million for the construction of residence halls at the ACA, which was part of the public school. and College Authority Bond Issue (PSCA).
PSCA funding was for public schools to use for construction, safety improvements, or technology upgrades. “What a great day for ACA and its students, as they will now have student accommodation just around the corner from its site. This will have a huge impact not only on the future growth of the ACA, but also on downtown Decatur,” added Orr.
“The City of Decatur is strongly committed to increasing opportunities for those who want to learn and work in the various artistic fields,” commented Jacob Ladner, President of the Decatur City Council. “ACA is a world-class facility, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to show it to individuals around the world and provide them with a high-quality learning format,” added Ladner.
Century Construction prepares the site to begin construction as soon as possible. Those interested in learning at the Alabama Center for the Arts can enroll now by visiting www.alabamacenterforthearts.org.