COLUMBIA - Columbia College has seen drastic growth in enrollment and will spend $20 million to expand its campus. Columbia College grew by 13 percent this past school year.
Director of Public Relations Sam Fleury said it will break ground in 2018 and the expansion will be completed in August 2019.
"We're excited about that," Fleury said. "It's a $20 million dollar project. So it's going to be a big undertaking, about 60,000 square foot. So we're excited about that facility. We'll also be doing some expansion to our dining facility because we have some increased enrollment on campus, so we need to be able to feed and to house the new students."
Fleury said Columbia College will continue to see growth this school year.
"Obviously we still have a month until everybody comes on campus and then we'll have a better idea," Fluery said. "But we're expecting additional growth. It will be coming through for the 2017-2018 school year."
Fluery said the new sports have contributed to the schools growth.
"I think that a lot of our growth is organic growth," Fluery said. "Our admissions team does a great job, and they have some unique tactics they use. Then also you look at the addition of sports, we've added four new sports the last two years. That's definitely the reason for the growth we've seen."
The new facility will house the business school and serve as a residence hall for students.
"So the first floor will be our school of business," Fluery said. "It continues to grow and flourish. It's one of our more popular degrees, departments on campus, which houses our entrepreneurship center. Entrepreneurship is definitely growing, a major we have on campus. So the building is really going to be a gem here on campus."
The residence hall will have 150 beds for students.
"That's where we'll house our Dean of business administration school," Fleury said. "So there's going to be a lot of things going on in that building. There will also be an event center that will hold about 150 people. So it's going to be a really nice facility."
Fleury said the funding for the construction will come from fundraising and money from the school.
"The growth has been really, we've had great energy on campus," Fluery said. "I mean when you're seeing growth and seeing more students around campus it really just makes it more vibrant. It makes it exciting. I'm looking forward to the process of building the new building because it's aways a huge undertaking but to watch it kind of from the ground up is really cool."