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Piedmont approves construction of largest-ever residential complex

Nov 23rd, 2020

Responding to growing demand and a rising student population, Piedmont College’s Executive and Finance Committees of the Board of Trustees have approved construction of a 268-bed residence hall.

The 60,000 square-foot structure, Mystic Hall, will be located near Plymouth Hall on a crest that overlooks the Demorest campus. When completed in December, 2021, the facility will be the college’s largest residential complex and pave the way for a string of additional housing renovations.

Despite concerns about the pandemic, Piedmont enrolled 251 first-year students this fall, among the largest freshman classes in the institution’s history. And overall enrollment at the college’s main campus in Demorest has never been higher.

Looking ahead, the college – to be renamed Piedmont University next April – plans to boost its residential student population to 1,000, up from 750. Piedmont also operates an Athens campus, which enrolls approximately 500 commuting students. The college’s overall enrollment is more than 2,500.

The housing addition comes on the heels of other momentous campus improvement projects. The college recently completed a $10.1 million Conservatory of Music and, last month, dedicated the Charles and Catherine Sewell Center for Teacher Education, a 12,000 square-foot building that is located on the college’s historic quad. Piedmont’s new Athens campus, a modern four-story brick building at 1282 Prince Avenue, will open in March. The college is experiencing historic highs in alumni giving and has also purchased 90 acres near the Demorest campus for expansion.

“These projects and our growing level of support illustrate Piedmont’s emergence as a burgeoning comprehensive regional university,” said Piedmont President James F. Mellichamp. “Demand for a Piedmont education, which is grounded in the liberal arts, personal relationships, and real-world professional preparation, continues to grow.”

Construction on Mystic Hall – to be completed by Scroggs & Grizzel (Gainesville) – will begin in January. The building’s architects are Hussey Gay Bell (Atlanta). The residential hall is named after a Connecticut seaport and recognizes Piedmont’s historical ties to Congregational Churches, which were established by Pilgrims throughout New England during the 1600s. 

The completion of Mystic Hall will pave the way for a string of additional housing renovations. Purcell Hall (constructed in 1969 and located near the athletic facilities) will be shuttered for a year-long renovation project.  After the Purcell project is completed, Wallace Hall, built in 1959, will be razed to make room for a parking lot, and Getman-Babcock will be converted to administrative offices.