Clemson University has just begun its largest ever construction project. The massive construction project is part of the university’s efforts to accommodate its growing student body, according to Greenville.com.
The $212.7 million Douthit Hills project includes new housing for more than 1,600 students, as well as a new bookstore, and a student center. Other components of the project include restaurants, retail establishments, and a dining hall.
It's the biggest ever Clemson project in size and in cost. The total project will span 80 acres with 650,000 square feet of buildings, which is the equivalent to the size of three Super Walmarts, university master planner Gerald Vander Mey said in a town-hall meeting.
The project is part of the university’s efforts to accommodate its ever-growing student body and is one of several projects currently underway at the university. Over the past 10 years student enrollment at the school has increased by over 5,000, but in that same time period, the school has reduced the number of on-campus housing units. The result has been a boon of off campus housing and other construction projects in the Greenville area.
A recent study by the city of Clemson found current rental properties at 99 percent occupancy, according to Greenville.com. The crowded housing market resulted several hundred students living in hotels last semester. Part of the problem has been getting the city planning and codes department to approve areas that have been traditional designated as living space on a campus where the average age of current student housing is 40 years, according to Vander Mey.
In addition to the Douthit Hill project, the university is also in the midst of another half dozen projects, which are in various stages.