Wingate opens new residence hall

Wingate University student Kyle Ward studies for a class in his apartment in the new residence hall
By Tiffany Jothen, Enquirer Journal

“The freshmen here are really lucky. ... And I’m spoiled.”
Kyle Ward is a junior at Wingate University where he majors in religious studies. He’s also one of two resident advisers in the newest hall on campus.

The university’s latest residence hall opened just in time for the spring semester, which started last week. The three-story, 26,000-square-foot facility will house 96 students. It’s the third of its kind built by CM Black Construction Co.
University President Jerry McGee called it “beautiful and comfortable.”

Ward agrees.
Each eight-person apartment includes four rooms and bathrooms. The common area has two couches and end tables, a dining room table, bar stools and a spacious kitchen.
Bedrooms include a bunk bed, desk and wardrobe.
Ward’s apartment is one exception to the general layout. Since he and a roommate are advisers, they get their own rooms. Their apartment has only six people.
Freshman Courtney Hall is getting used to campus living for the first time. She moved in last week.
“I love being one of the first ones in it,” she said.
Hall, a pre-pharmacy major, graduated from Piedmont and commuted from home last semester.

“Living on campus is going to be a lot better for studying,” she said. It will also be easier to participate in student activities, she said, or walk to a basketball game.

Ward enjoys “the sense of community” each apartment offers, although more people around means the potential for distractions, he said. At the same time, the proximity to campus means he can study in his room if he gets tired of the library.

Ward is one of nearly 100 students who spent last semester at Best Value Inn behind Hilltop as Wingate rushed to accommodate its largest freshman class ever. Rooms were not rented to outside patrons.

Wingate had just over 600 freshmen last fall, for a total of about 2,300 students, including every campus and every type of student, dean of enrollment management Rhett Brown said.
The motel’s amenities were comparable to those in the new residence hall, which has not yet been named. Students who transitioned from Hilltop to the new hall no longer have a free laundry service, but do have a washer and dryer for each apartment.
Hall is happy to see the school expanding, she said.
She and several high school friends go to Wingate, the same school her dad attended. As other schools expand or add programs, Hall said, Wingate must keep up or “people would lose interest.”

Wingate’s pharmacy and physician assistant programs are also relatively new. The school will incorporate a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree next year, and the first phase of a larger Matthews campus should be done by 2013.

CM Black, based in Concord, built the Beam and Cannon residence halls, the Hayes classroom and George A. Batte Fine Arts Center. It is working on the Levine College of Health Sciences.
“We are thrilled to continue our relationship with Wingate University and help the school meet the increasing demands of its growing student population,” company president Emmitt Black said in a press release.