Young Harris College Holds “Topping Out” Ceremony for New $41 Million Rollins Campus Center
YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – On Dec. 5, Young Harris College held a “topping out” ceremony for the new $41 million, 125,000-square-foot Rollins Campus Center that is designed to catapult the student experience into the 21st century.
Hundreds of faculty, staff, students and friends of the College left their mark on the new building during the historic event by signing the facility’s final steel beam. Guests also watched as the beam was ceremoniously lifted and secured into place.
“It was great to see so many people from the YHC community come out for the ceremony,” said Emily Nichols, a senior psychology major from Buford, Ga. “The Rollins Campus Center will bring students together by having everything we need in a central location. It’s a great addition to our campus.”
In April 2013, YHC broke ground on the Rollins Campus Center—the centerpiece of the College’s master plan and the focal point of the Investing in the Future Capital Campaign. In March 2012, the College announced a $22 million gift from the Atlanta-based O. Wayne Rollins Foundation that served as the lead gift for this new facility.
“The new building will truly become the social and intellectual heart of campus,” said YHC President Cathy Cox. “The Rollins family has been an integral part of the YHC family for four decades, and their generous gift has made this building possible.”
During the ceremony, President Cox acknowledged representatives from the building’s general contractor, Atlanta-based Choate Construction Company, as well as project manager Brailsford & Dunlavey and architect VMDO.
“This center will impact lives and shape students for generations to come,” said Millard Choate, president of Choate Construction Company, who addressed the crowd during the ceremony. “We are proud to be a part of this integral new piece of the YHC campus.”
The new center will house four distinct areas: a 60,000-square-foot, multi-purpose student center; the 40,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Zell and Shirley Miller Library; an expanded Grace Rollins Dining Hall; and a 350-seat, versatile Charles Suber Banquet Hall.
Some highlights of the facility include space for student organizations, activities and services in the third-floor Mary Warren Loft, a multimedia theatre with stadium seating for 25, dining options from a national food vendor, a Starbucks coffee shop, and a game room with pool tables, big-screen televisions and gaming consoles.
The glass, brick and stone facility has been designed to be energy efficient and environmentally friendly. 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.
The center will optimize the surrounding mountain views and maximize outdoor space with numerous expansive porches that will create a relaxing space for students to socialize and study.
For more information about YHC’s Investing in the Future Capital Campaign or the Rollins Campus Center, contact Vice President for Advancement Jay Stroman at (706) 379-5173. To watch the progress of this new facility in real time, visit yhc.edu/growth.
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 1,100 students across five divisions—Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. The historic campus in Young Harris, Ga., is currently undergoing major campus improvements to accommodate the College’s growth, including recent completion of a 226-bed residence hall that is expected to earn LEED certification, a 248-bed, apartment-style residential village and a 57,000-square-foot, LEED-certified recreation center. In 2011, the College was granted candidacy for NCAA Division II athletics, and in 2012, was invited to become the 14th member of the Peach Belt Conference. YHC is among fewer than 300 colleges and universities nationwide named to the 2013-2014 list of Colleges of Distinction. For more information, visit yhc.edu.
Young Harris College students sign the ceremonial final beam during the “topping out” ceremony for the College’s new $41 million Rollins Campus Center.
Young Harris College President Cathy Cox and students make their mark on the Rollins Campus Center by signing the building’s ceremonial final beam.
The final beam of Young Harris College’s Rollins Campus Center is lifted into place during the “topping out” ceremony on Dec. 5.