On Oct. 23, Young Harris College held a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony to mark the official opening of the $41 million, 121,000-square-foot Rollins Campus Center, the largest building constructed on campus to date. Members of the Rollins family were on-site to cut the ceremonial ribbon.
“This is a historic day for the College,” said YHC President Cathy Cox. “The Rollins Campus Center would never have come to fruition without the generosity of so many that believed in the College and what we are trying to achieve for our students. We offer heartfelt thanks to the Rollins family for their generous lead support in making this facility possible.”
Designed to catapult the student experience into the 21st century, the facility houses four distinct areas: a 60,000-square-foot, multi-purpose student center; the state-of-the-art Zell and Shirley Miller Library; an expanded Grace Rollins Dining Hall; and a 350-seat, versatile Charles Edwin Suber Banquet Hall.
A second ceremony was held to dedicate the 40,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Zell and Shirley Miller Library. U.S. Senator and Georgia Governor Zell Miller, ’51, his remarkable wife, Shirley, ’54, and several members of their family cut the ceremonial ribbon outside of the new library.
The library more than doubles the College’s previous physical space, utilizing three floors of the center for group study rooms, reading carrels, computer stations, and areas for permanent and special collections. It features a prominently displayed, permanent exhibit that showcases the Millers’ inspiring story, including their legacy of public service to the state of Georgia and the nation. It is a fitting tribute to the couple, who met as students at YHC.
In addition to the Zell and Shirley Miller Library, the Rollins Campus Center features the new Grace Rollins Dining Hall with healthy, customized made-to-order meals plus grab-and-go options. The 500-plus seat space includes multiple platform grills, a salad station and dessert bar.
The Charles Edwin Suber Banquet Hall provides an elegant, spacious venue for group gatherings, guest lectures, workshops and receptions. Featuring a sound system, retractable screen and portable stage, this multipurpose space will be available to the surrounding community for rental.
Additional highlights of the facility include space for student activities and services in the third-floor Mary Ripley Warren Student Organization Loft, a multimedia theatre with stadium seating, a Chick-fil-A Express, a Starbucks coffee shop, and a game room with a pool table, foosball table, big-screen televisions, and gaming consoles.
The glass, brick, and stone facility has been designed to be energy efficient and environmentally friendly. The building boasts many sustainable features, including the use of geothermal wells, and is expected to earn LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
The center optimizes the surrounding mountain views and maximizes outdoor space with numerous expansive porches that create a relaxing space for students to socialize and study.