Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Clayton State Dedicates Laker Hall to “Benefit the Students”

Dedicating Clayton State University’s first on-campus housing, President Dr. Thomas K. Harden today promised that Laker Hall would, “benefit the students of Clayton State University.”

Harden spoke to some 200 assembled dignitaries, elected officials, faculty, staff and students in a morning ceremony on the sidewalk in front of Laker Hall, the 451-bed, 178,000 square foot student housing facility located on the north side of Clayton State Boulevard, just inside the entrance to the campus. The grand opening, hosted by Harden and the CSU Foundation Real Estate I LLC, was followed by a reception and tours of the University’s newest building. Students will start moving in to Laker Hall around 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 14.

Among the speakers at the dedication and ribbon cutting was Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Brian Haynes, who pointed out that, among the more than 6000 colleges and universities in the country, only 2012 have on-campus housing for students. Likening the opening of Laker Hall to the rarity of climbing Mt. Everest, Haynes stated that the University was now in “rare air.”

With student reservations for Laker Hall currently running in excess of 90 percent (mostly first time, full time freshmen), Clayton State University Student Government Association President Darius Thomas hailed the new opportunities that will come for the student body with the opening of an on-campus residence hall, a message that Harden also touched upon during the groundbreaking for Laker Hall in August 2007.

“Our number one purpose is to meet the higher education needs for this region,” he said at that time. “To fulfill that purpose we have to do more all the time to insure student success… We need to provide a residential experience.”

Laker Hall is a public/private venture, funded by a bond project with the Development Authority of Clayton County the issuing agency. Built and paid for without the use of any state funds, Laker Hall is owned by Clayton State University Foundation Real Estate I LLC, and leased to the University System of Georgia with the lease payments coming from housing rental.

Speaking for the LLC at the dedication was Chairman Leonard Moreland.

“Many will look back upon this day as a turning point for Clayton State University,” he predicted. “This has been a great project, one that will forever change this university.”

Included in Laker Hall’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 66 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 a kitchenette and a central living room.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.
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