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Sense of Place

Higher ed Core Campus Project at Clemson University

New student housing, retail and residential dining, and centralized home for the Calhoun Honors College
University Business, April 2017
  • CENTRAL UPGRADE—The renovation of the heart of Clemson’s higher ed campus includes a new home for the National Scholars and Major Fellows programs.
  • DINING UPGRADE—The renovation of the heart of Clemson’s college campus includes the addition of 78,000 square feet of updated dining space.

The Core Campus Project—a mixed-use addition to Clemson University—includes student housing, retail and residential dining, and is also a centralized home for the Calhoun Honors College. It creates a new “main street” for pedestrians at the heart of campus and provides living space for 700 students.

  • CHALLENGE: As enrollment continues to grow—more than 6,400 students already reside on campus—Clemson needed more rooms as well as an upgrade for a 61-year-old dining hall. Leaders also wanted to consolidate the honors college, which was spread over three different facilities.

“We have not had the opportunity to build new student housing for the general student body since 2000, when our last new building opened,” says Kathy Hobgood, assistant vice president of student affairs and executive director of housing and dining.

  • SOLUTION: The 260,000-square-foot Core Campus, designed for LEED silver certification, comprises four new buildings (and three naming opportunities).

The residential space features rooms for 300 traditional and 400 honors college students, and includes a mix of suites and traditional rooms, the latter with a “wet core”—a community sink area with a cluster of single-use bathrooms.

Also new are a 900-seat dining hall and five retail venues, including Starbucks, Twisted Taco and Raising Cane’s.

The new honors college, Clemson’s first residential college, has community meeting rooms, a central lounge, study rooms, a library, a grand hall, two classrooms and administrative offices.

“I didn’t expect how jealous other students would be of the new honors college space,” says Hobgood. “The trade-off is that other students are saying, ‘We want that kind of space—can’t you build more of that?’ And we certainly can’t build it fast enough.”

  • COMPLETED: September 2016
  • COST: $83 million
  • PROJECT TEAM: Architecture, interior design, site planning and engineering: Stevens & Wilkinson (Columbia), VMDO Architects (Charlottesville, Va.), Sasaki (Watertown, Mass.); construction: Whiting-Turner (Charlotte, N.C.)

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