Over the past few years Piedmont College has had record enrollment. With the growing number of students, Piedmont had to figure out a way to accommodate the living needs. In 2014 they began building “The Piedmont Student Village” a new off campus living facility, and by the fall of 2015 it was complete and ready for move in day. The village has a total of 12 buildings that each contain 4 suites. In each suite there are 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a living room, a small kitchen, and a washer and dryer. Although there are 12 buildings in the village, only 5 have students living in them. This raises the question, do Piedmont College students dislike the brand new living facility or are there other reasons behind the vacancy?
Olivia Scoggins is a senior criminal justice major at Piedmont and currently lives in the new student village. Scoggins is disappointed in the village after moving in because she feels there were many things promised for the village that were followed through on, such as kitchen appliances and the alcohol policy. Scoggins says, “living in the village is okay but it is a lot smaller than I thought.” Scoggins also has found that she does not like living off campus and is currently taking steps to move back into a dorm on campus.
Although Scoggins is not a fan of the village there are also students that enjoy living there. Stone Kelly, a junior nutrition and health major says, “I like the village because it’s away from everyone, and it gives me alone time.” He also was pleased with the fact that he was able to have his own room, along with a washer and dryer just for his suite, and plans to live in the village again next year.
With there being good and bad reviews on the village, the question still remains as to why there are empty buildings. Mark Jestel is the Director of Residential Education at Piedmont College. Jestel says, “we had half of the village filled up as a tester run, kind of our soft opening to make sure everything runs properly.” There are currently about 70 students living in the student village, but by next year Piedmont plans to reach full capacity with a total of 162 students. The empty buildings are completely finished, but not furnished yet. Piedmont plans to keep improving the village and plan to add more areas just to sit and hang out to make it more of a community. Also in 2016 multiple restaurants will be opening in the village.
For more information on the student village, listen to this interview with Mark Jestel.