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Young Harris College Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony for New $41 Million Rollins Campus Center
YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – On April 5, Young Harris College broke ground on the new $41 million, 125,000-square-foot Rollins Campus Center that is designed to catapult the student experience into the 21st century. Trustees, faculty, staff, students and friends of the College were in attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony.
The Rollins Campus Center is the centerpiece of YHC’s master plan and the focal point of the Investing in the Future Capital Campaign. In March 2012, YHC announced a $22 million gift from the Atlanta-based O. Wayne Rollins Foundation that served as the lead gift for this new facility.
During the ceremony, YHC President Cathy Cox acknowledged representatives from the building’s general contractor, Atlanta-based Choate Construction Company, as well as project manager Brailsford & Dunlavey and architect VMDO. President Cox also recognized the dedicated efforts of YHC Capital Campaign Chair and trustee Pam Rollins, who addressed the crowd.
“Under Pam’s leadership, the Rollins family started this project off with an incredible gift to make this building possible,” said President Cox. “As campaign chair, her efforts expanded even further to not only raise the remaining funds for this facility but also support many other important initiatives that will help us meet the growing needs of our expanding campus.”
The Rollins family has been an integral part of the history and growth of YHC for more than four decades. O. Wayne Rollins joined the Board of Trustees in 1970 and systematically addressed the College’s needs with generous support and leadership. His granddaughter, Pam Rollins, has followed in his footsteps during her 20-year tenure as a trustee at Young Harris College.
“I speak wholeheartedly not only as a trustee for the O. Wayne Rollins Foundation but also as a member of the Rollins family when I say that we are so excited to be a part of this signature facility,” said Rollins. “My grandfather loved this College, and I have come to love YHC as well. I think this is one of the greatest things we could give back to the campus in his honor.”
The largest building ever to be built at Young Harris, the Rollins Campus Center will become the social and intellectual heart of the campus. The new center will house four distinct areas: a 60,000-square-foot, multi-purpose student center; a 40,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art library; an expanded dining hall; and a 350-seat, versatile banquet facility.
The new student center includes space for student organizations, activities and services in the versatile, third-floor Mary Warren Loft. It will also include multiple lounge areas, informal meeting spaces, computer workstations and a convenience store. The offices of Admissions and Student Development, Academic Success Center, and Academic Advising Center will also be housed there.
The 500-plus seating in the future Grace Rollins Dining Hall will replace the College’s current 270-seat space. Food stations with nutritious, customized made-to-order meals, plus grab-and-go options, will shorten wait times and enhance fellowship.
The elegant Charles Suber Banquet Hall will enable the College to host large group gatherings, guest lectures and workshops. The multi-purpose space will feature a sound system, retractable screen and portable stage. The facility will become the largest in Towns County and will be available to the surrounding community for rental.
The new library will be named for two of the College’s most distinguished alumni, former U.S. Senator and Georgia Governor Zell Miller, ’51, and his wife Shirley Miller, ’54. The library will more than double the College’s existing physical space for its growing collection of academic resources and include designated space for permanent and special collections, group study rooms, reading carrels, computer stations, and a 24-hour study area. The library will also feature a prominently displayed, permanent exhibit that showcases the Millers’ inspiring story, including their legacy of public service to the State of Georgia and the nation.
The glass, brick and stone facility has been designed to be energy efficient and environmentally friendly while also optimizing the surrounding mountain views and maximizing outdoors space. The building will boast many sustainable features, including the use of geothermal wells, and is expected to earn LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
For more information about Young Harris College’s Investing in the Future Capital Campaign or the Rollins Campus Center, contact Vice President for Advancement Jay Stroman at (706) 379-5173.
About Young Harris College
Young Harris College is a private, baccalaureate degree-granting college located in the beautiful mountains of north Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires and empowers students through the highest quality liberal arts education. The College currently has more than 1,000 students across five divisions—Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, and Social and Behavioral Sciences—and plans to increase enrollment to 1,200 over the next few years. The historic campus in Young Harris, Ga., is currently undergoing major campus improvements to accommodate the College’s growth, including recent completion of a 200-bed, LEED Silver-certified residence hall, Georgia’s first higher education facility north of Atlanta to achieve this certification, a 57,000-square-foot, LEED-certified recreation center, the second higher educational recreation facility in Georgia to achieve this certification, and a 248-bed, apartment-style residential village. In 2011, the College was granted candidacy for NCAA Division II athletics. YHC is among fewer than 300 colleges and universities nationwide named to the 2012-2013 list of Colleges of Distinction. For more information, visit www.yhc.edu.
Young Harris College President Cathy Cox (third from right), YHC Capital Campaign Chair and trustee Pam Rollins (fourth from right), YHC Board of Trustees Chair Jerry Nix (fourth from left), and YHC Board of Trustees committee chairs (from left to right) Julie Salisbury, René Diaz, Brantley Barrow, ’74, Dr. Don Harp, ’61, and Kurt Momand, ’77, broke ground on the new $41 million, 125,000-square-foot Rollins Campus Center on April 5.