Newberry, SC (WLTX) - Newberry College says a dorm it made from the century old factory shell is almost fully rented out for the fall semester.
"You don't see a building like this at a small college. And the students were just thrilled about an opportunity to have something different," said Kay Banks, Dean of Students at Newberry College. "We need something new that kind of kept us in the game with other local colleges. This building provides an opportunity for our students to live independently but still live less than a mile from campus."
The Oakland Mill made textiles for 100 years until it closed in 2009. Three years and some $20 million in renovations later, Newberry College says almost 150 students will be able to live there.
Two or three students live in each of the apartment style dorm units. The students share a common living room, kitchen, and bathroom.
The last time Newberry opened a new dorm was in 2006.
The new Mill building will offer year long living, a first for the college.
In the future, an undeveloped part of the building will have market rate apartments rented to the community. The developer also hopes to bring a restaurant or small market into the space.
"When the public space comes open, you'll see this mix of our students with the community residents," said Banks. "It's cool. The students enjoy living over here.