Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Save Gas… Live on the Clayton State Campus

Here’s a riddle, one with hopefully a happy ending.

Which will come first… $5 a gallon gas, or the opening of Clayton State University’s new student housing?

Actually, there’s no guarantee that the price of gas will stop at the $5 mark. However, Clayton State’s first on-campus student housing is scheduled to open in August, with the building’s dedication set for Tuesday, Aug. 12 and the first students moving in on Thursday, Aug. 14.

After 39 years, Clayton State has become a residential campus, and just in time to save a bunch of students from burning up the contents of their wallets in their gas tanks. While the University’s student body has always drawn heavily from Clayton, Henry and Fayette counties, it still can take a good (or maybe bad) 30 minutes of driving to get to the Clayton State campus from McDonough. For that matter, it’s still 15 or 20 minutes from parts of Jonesboro and, if you should happen to live in Newnan or Jackson, well, get ready for 45 minutes to an hour on the road. Even at 30 miles per gallon, that’s $50 a week in gas when we hit the $5 standard. (Today, it’s “only” $40 a week.)

However, that will all be a thing of the past come Aug. 14 as 450 beds in the new student housing facility will become available to Clayton State students. Along with the also-soon-to-be-completed student activities center, the student housing is funded by a bond project with the Development Authority of Clayton County the issuing agency. The cost of the entire bond project for student housing and the student activities center is approximately $42 million, with $38 million of hard cost -- $21 million for the student housing and $17 million for the student activities center. The buildings are owned by Clayton State University Foundation Real Estate I LLC, and leased to the University System with the lease payments coming from housing rental for the student housing facility and student activities fees for the student activities center.

The student housing is the largest building on campus, with 451 beds in 108 units on four floors. Included in the building’s amenities are gigabit ethernet service (making this the only gigaplex residence hall in the state, as befitting Georgia’s first “Notebook University”), Wi-Fi service throughout the building, VOIP telephone service, a café, lounge areas, a game room with a large screen HD TV, HD capable cable TV service in the suites, card entry into both the building and individual suites, a 24/7 Community Desk in the lobby, and 60 security cameras. The individual suites are fully-furnished and consist of four bedroom (every bedroom will have a hard-wired internet port as well), two bath suites with kitchenettes.

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