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In this file photo, Juliana Howser, a freshman at Kennesaw State University, leaves her off-campus apartment at U Club on Frey in Kennesaw as she heads to class in August 2019.

Kennesaw State University will build a new $37 million dorm to accommodate its growing student population after approval from the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

KSU officials say the residence hall will be built on the university's Kennesaw campus, next to the existing Austin Residence Complex, near the corner of Chastain and Frey roads off Interstate 75.

The dorm is expected to have 514 beds and has a targeted opening of fall semester 2022, according to a news release. The Kennesaw campus has four residence halls and about 3,500 beds currently, according to Tammy DeMel, a university spokeswoman.

KSU President Pamela Whitten said the new dorm will address the university's ballooning enrollment, as well as better connect students, especially freshmen, to campus activities.

“Multiple studies have indicated that students who live on campus tend to become more involved at their school and express greater satisfaction with their undergraduate experience, which translates to increased student success,” Whitten said. “Living on campus is especially beneficial in helping first-year students transition to college life and build deeper connections with both peers and faculty members.”

Along with a mix of single- and double-bedroom units, the residence hall will include community and study spaces, the news release states. 

Whitten said the university is striving to accommodate all students who want to live on campus and "call Kennesaw State their home away from home.”

“This is one key aspect of our commitment to providing students with a rich living and learning experience," she said.

KSU officials have proposed funding the project through a public-private venture supplemented by a $2 million contribution from KSU auxiliary reserves “to ensure student affordability.”

The university proposed the new housing project to the Board of Regents the same week that it announced record enrollment at 37,807 students for the fall 2019 semester. That number represents a growth of 6.7%, or 2,387 students, over fall 2018.

About 6,500 of fall 2019’s enrolled students were freshmen, representing the largest freshman class in the school's history, according to the university.

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Follow Thomas Hartwell on Twitter at twitter.com/MDJThomas.

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