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Construction continues at Oxford College

Crews wrap up work on Williams Hall/Old Gym this summer at Oxford College. Soon, more construction will begin on a new residence hall. Construction also is wrapping up on the college's new library. Staff Photo: Sue Ann Kuhn-Smith

Crews wrap up work on Williams Hall/Old Gym this summer at Oxford College. Soon, more construction will begin on a new residence hall. Construction also is wrapping up on the college's new library. Staff Photo: Sue Ann Kuhn-Smith

OXFORD -- While student activities settle down over the summer at Oxford College, the campus will continue to be busy with construction.

The new library project is wrapping up, while construction on a new residential hall will soon begin -- and construction may be ongoing for at least a couple more years on other projects.

The Oxford Library and Academic Commons is expected to officially open to students in August, with a ribbon cutting at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 24. The new facility incorporates the basic structure of the old library building, which was built in 1970, and a 10,000-square-foot addition that got underway in May 2012. It will feature 21st-century standards, while still keeping with adjacent historic buildings.

Earlier this year, the school held a ceremonial groundbreaking for its new 208-bed residence hall, for which construction is expected to begin later this summer. It's located on Hamill Street at Emory Street, just across from East Village, a $28.5 million residence hall that was built in 2008.

The new residence hall has been in design for several months, during which current students were asked for input, including room configurations, locations for amenities and layout of gathering spaces. The design includes a third-floor outdoor patio/social area, a gourmet kitchen for students who want to cook, and a state-of-the art media room for presentations, video gaming and film-watching.

"A residence hall is more than a place to sleep," said Joe Moon, dean for campus life. "It is where students study -- separately and in groups -- and a comfortable place to gather socially to build friendships. In essence, the residence hall is their college home. We want this new building to be a place of comfort for our students to assist them in achieving their educational goals."

The architectural firm for the project is Cooper Carry, and the construction firm is Brasfield & Gorrie, both of Atlanta. Crews are expected to tear down three houses and a shed on the block bounded by Emory Street, Hamill Street, Haygood Avenue and Pierce Street, according to the college.

The new hall, which as yet does not have an official name, will open in time for fall semester 2014. Its design will complement the nearby East Village.

When the new residence hall is finished, two residence halls on the quad --Branham Hall and East Hall -- will be demolished, and the new science building will be constructed on the site where they are now. The college hopes to erect the new science building beginning in the summer 2014.

Over the past few years, Oxford also has completed work to a pedestrian-only quadrangle conversion, a Williams Hall/Old Gym renovation, a Seney Hall renovation and a Language Hall renovation.