Standing six-stories, the 244,722 square-foot building, Florida A&M University Village is the newest addition to campus. The new dormitory houses 800 single-occupancy bedrooms, the largest offering at the university.
Students say the Village, as it is commonly known, is a step up from past on-campus accommodations.
For Taylor Harris, an pre-occupational therapy and wellness student, McGuinn hall had been home for past semesters. She says she is hopeful that the Village is an impressive addition to campus.
“Oddly enough I liked the old feel of McGuinn. I feel like it was the closest I could get to that traditional HBCU and FAMU experience,” said Harris, an Atlanta, Ga. native, “but I don’t think any of the older facilities can even compete with the lifestyle that the Villages has given students. I am truly impressed with the building.”
Angela Coleman, associate vice president of Student Support Services, said the university had tried to cater to students in the long term.
“It is something unlike any other building on campus and we are really anticipating a positive return on investment in years to come,” Coleman said. “Our goal was to meet the needs of the millennial Famuan in terms of the design and a sense of community.”
The facility is filled with several common areas, study rooms and game rooms in order to push forward the initiative of creating a living and learning community for its occupants.
Nailah Brown, a first-year pre-medical student, from Orlando, praised the dorm for being ready for her arrival.
“Everything was organized” from day one, she recalled.
“I love the vibe the dorm gives off,” Brown said. “It’s spacious and we have pretty much everything we need in the building.”
Some of the most obvious changes and additions in the facility are the co-ed living arrangements, the lack of community bathrooms and the energy efficient fan-coil units that keep the facility cool. Kierra Allen, a first-year pre-pharmacy student from Jacksonville, said she appreciated that “the facility is brand new.”
She did, however, argue that the Village needed at least one more amenity. “If I could add one thing to the building it would be a community kitchen so I can make my own food, but everything is pretty good so far,” Allen said, adding that the ongoing construction is a slight inconvenience. “I can’t wait until all of the construction workers go away. I have to walk around to the opposite side of the building just to get to class.”
Although the facility is open, it not completely finished. The building has been cleared for residents by building code officers, however, minor tweaks such as, landscaping and painting are still talking place around the facility.