campus village rendering

Campus Village project set to transform south campus

Something big is heading to south campus. After receiving final approval from state officials last week, construction of the first stage of the University of South Carolina’s new Campus Village student residential housing redevelopment will begin in February, bringing modern housing options to a new generation of students.

The transformative multistage redevelopment is the most ambitious capital project in the university’s history. The first stage will construct four residential buildings accommodating 1,800 students at the northeast corner of Sumter and Whaley streets, currently the site of Cliff Apartments. The project is designed to offer students a unique living-learning experience and will feature academic support space, a dining hall, a shuttle stop and a campus safety office. A sundry store and a coffee shop also will be available for use by students and neighborhood residents alike.

“The Campus Village project improves the campus experience in many ways,” says university architect Derek Gruner. “First and foremost, the project provides a well-integrated residential environment, blending living, dining and meeting space — all of which is in high demand on the campus.”

The architecture of the new buildings and the landscape will respect historic values as well as contemporary campus design guidelines.

Emily Jones, UofSC landscape architect and project manager 

Studies have shown that students who live on campus perform better academically and are more likely to earn their degrees. Due to growth in the university’s student body, residing on campus is available to all freshmen, but very few upperclassmen. The additional beds made available by the Campus Village will make it possible to reduce wait lists and increase availability of quality, affordable on-campus housing in the heart of south campus.

“The Campus Village project will allow us to better serve the needs of generations of future Gamecocks,” says university President Bob Caslen. “It is a proven fact that grade point averages and retention rates increase with first year on-campus housing, and this project will facilitate an additional 1,500 beds. I thank our university project team, our neighborhood, city and state leaders, and our legislative officials who worked together to make this ambitious concept a reality. Through close collaboration, Campus Village will be a historic undertaking of which we can all be proud.”

The project is years in the making, and its final design incorporates input of local residents and neighborhood groups. The five- to six-story structures will be red brick masonry with beige architectural cast stone accents. The area between the buildings will be replete with greenspace and courtyards. Enhanced shuttle service, new bike paths and pedestrian access to the main areas of campus will discourage automobile use.

“With this new residential community, the perception of a sprawling urban campus is scaled down into a more intimate neighborhood experience,” says UofSC landscape architect and project manager Emily Jones. “Significantly, the project will reimagine an area of campus so that it is transformed by design, inspired by the areas of the University of South Carolina campus that we most revere. The architecture of the new buildings and the landscape will respect historic values as well as contemporary campus design guidelines.”

Stage One of the project is expected to cost an estimated $210 million and will be complete for the fall 2022 semester. The work will be done by South Carolina-based Greystar, one of the nation’s largest developers of collegiate properties. Under the development agreement, Campus Village facilities will be owned by the university and maintained by Greystar under a management contract. Housing operations and student support will be managed and provided by the university.

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