Life University breaks grounds on new dormitories | Local News

MARIETTA — Students at Life University will have more options to live near campus as early as next fall thanks to a new dorm being built that will house about 362 students.

Representatives from Life joined officials from the city of Marietta on Friday morning to break ground on the new dorm building, which will be built on Barclay Circle just off South Marietta Parkway.

About half of the buildings that make up The Commons, one of Life’s original housing complexes, will be demolished to make way for the new four-story, 99,000-square-foot dorm building, which will also include a dining facility.

The new building will be built on about 3.5 acres and will be four stories tall. It will take 13 to 14 months to complete, putting a possible opening date in the fall of 2018.

The building will cost about $27.5 million to build, according to Bill Jarr, executive vice president of finance for Life University. The university is paying for the dorm using the proceeds from about $100 million in bonds issued earlier in July, Jarr said. The funds from those bonds will be used to refinance older debt as well as pay for the new housing and dining facility that broke ground on Friday.

Dr. Guy Reikeman, chancellor of Life University, said during the groundbreaking ceremony that the dorm project is part of the university’s efforts to become more than a commuter campus.

“It’s just remarkable what’s happened at this campus,” Riekeman said, adding that when he became president of the university in 2004, “We decided we were going to turn this into a remarkable community.”

In May, Reikeman was named chancellor of Life University. His successor, Dr. Rob Scott, said Friday that Life University has grown into more than a chiropractic university.

“This is a really exciting opportunity for us at Life University, a very special day. … This institution, nestled here in Marietta, actually has 18 undergraduate and graduate programs and are expending those program offerings to fulfill the void in the health care dialogue that we think is so fundamentally important in changing the outcomes of our citizens and our communities,” Scott said.

Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin, who wielded a shovel at the groundbreaking ceremony, said the city is “100 percent behind” Life’s efforts.

“What a great community we live in, that you get a quality K-12 education and then go all the way and get a bachelor’s degree and a postgraduate degree and never leave Cobb County. … We’re just delighted at this new milestone,” Tumlin said. “You know, you tear down a building, you’re clearing the way for a better community and a better university. And we’re delighted to be part of it.”

Life University, founded in 1975, has about 2,700 students enrolled in its 18 undergraduate and graduate programs.