JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (WATE) — A new residence life building is coming to Carson-Newman University for the first time in decades in what will be the largest construction project in the school’s history.

The 524-bed residential complex will cover more than 110,000 sq feet, the largest project in Carson-Newman’s 172-year history. Construction is set to begin by the end of the spring semester with a target completion date of August 2024.

According to the university, twin living facilities will be connected by a two-story “Community Connector.” The connector will be home to a large gathering and gaming space on the first floor with study space on the second floor. Carson-Newman added that plans include more places to study, laundry on every floor of every wing, and food options. The building will also have keycard access and security cameras.

It will be built adjacent to the Appalachian Commons student apartments complex on the University’s west campus. Construction was given the green light during the University’s Board of Trustees’ January meeting.

The new building is a part of C-N’s plan to modernize its campus. The University is also preparing to open a 48,000 sq ft health sciences building in the fall. The Drama and Ted Russell Center is the first new academic building on the campus in 15 years.

“I am grateful to our board of trustees and all of those involved in preparing for this new project,” said University President Charles A. Fowler. “I am excited for our students. Receiving feedback and input from them during the planning process was important to us. We wanted a place that would continue to grow a sense of campus community for our students – and that is what this project represents.”

“Carson-Newman desires to provide spaces and places for students to live and study that are marked by excellence,” said Fowler. “This new residence life facility reflects our heart for Christian community and our commitment to excellence.”

C-N worked closely with Barber McMurray, a Knoxville-based architectural firm, to plan out future construction over the next 20 years. The plan provides a framework for “ambitious development and growth” over the next two decades according to C-N.

“It’s an honor to have been entrusted by Carson-Newman University to build its first new residence hall on campus in decades,” said Meghan Schmidt, vice president of Real Estate at University Housing Solutions. “We’re excited to be a part of history in the making as the University prepares to usher in a new era through student-focused developments like this one.”

C-N partnered with University Housing Solutions, a “premier developer” in student housing that focuses on small, private universities, to develop the facility plan. Feedback from students was also incorporated into the final design.

“The opportunity to serve on the task [team] charged with planning a new residence hall has been a true blessing,” said Derek Driskill, student body president and member of the planning team. “I’ve never seen students this excited about campus and the future of Carson-Newman University.”