Alabama Center for the Arts

The Alabama Center for the Arts in Decatur

An ongoing collaborative effort between Calhoun Community College and Athens State University continues to grow, recently announcing plans to build a new residence hall for students.

Alabama Center for the Arts was awarded $15 million in funding this week by Gov. Kay Ivey to build student housing in downtown Decatur. This will allow students attended ACA to complete an associate degree from Calhoun and their bachelor's degree with Athens State in "a seamless experience at the Alabama Center for the Arts," according to a release from the college.

Sen. Arthur Orr presented the student housing proposal to Ivey in January after hearing about the need for student housing from department chairs at both colleges.

"Being able to offer student housing will provide a tremendous impact on the ACA and its future growth," Orr said. "I appreciate Calhoun and Athens State for being prepared to take the ACA to the next level through this endeavor."

Calhoun's interim president, Joe Burke, and Athens State President Philip Way also voiced their appreciation.

"We are very pleased and excited that this funding will enable us to provide living space for our fine arts students as well as some of our student athletes who are from other areas of the state and region,"

Burke said.

"Funding for this project further solidifies the relationship Athens State University and Calhoun Community College enjoy and provides unprecedented access for students wishing to complete a degree in visual and performing arts," Way said.

The property where the residence hall will be built was purchased earlier this year by the Alabama Center for the Arts Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the growth of the ACA, using locally donated funds. The hall will be located on the corner of First Avenue and Johnston Street in Decatur.

The $15 million in funding from Ivey is part of more than $298 million awarded to Public School and College Authority projects at 20 schools around the state. Other North Alabama projects include $11 million for the Huntsville Regional Lab and Morgue at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and $15 million for the computer science and mathematics building at the University of North Alabama.

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