Press release from Mars Hill University:
Mars Hill University will build a new campus center which will bring together many student-focused amenities and departments under one roof. University leaders announced a $20 million capital fundraising campaign for the project during a kickoff event on Friday, April 22, 2022. As is common with many large fundraising efforts, campaign leaders have been securing commitments during a “quiet phase” for a little more than a year and at today’s event revealed they have raised more than $15 million toward the goal.
“It is an investment in our students,” said MHU President Tony Floyd. “We see this campus center as a catalyst to build an incredibly strong and vibrant student life experience for our students.”
The new campus center will be built where Blackwell Hall currently stands, along North Carolina Highway 213 (Cascade Street) and opening onto the Lunsford Commons upper quadrangle of the heart of the campus. Plans call for gutting Blackwell Hall with a renovation that will double the size of that current facility.
Floyd said traffic studies and other research led to the selection of the site, which is a crossroads of student foot traffic. He noted that the area has been the heart of campus since the university’s founding in the 1850s.
“There’s a lot of history there,” he said. “This decision on where to put [the campus center] is historic because we’re putting a stake in the ground and we’re saying that hallowed ground is what we want to continue to use for the next decades to center our campus on that special place.”
The campus center will serve as home for, among others, the following offices and amenities which currently are dispersed across the campus:
- Admissions Welcome Center
- Cothran Center for Career Readiness
- Center for Religious and Spiritual Life
- Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- Office of Student Life
- Office of Residence Life
- Center for Community Engagement
- Student Government Association
- New dining, recreational, and social gathering areas
- New fitness center
- Multi-purpose large meeting space
University leaders plan to build the campus center without incurring long-term debt, so they have not set a date for construction to begin, pending fully funding the $20 million campaign goal.