SPARTANBURG, SC – Could you imagine being a Wofford senior and living on a part of the campus that looks and feels like a traditional neighborhood?
Imagine living next door to dozens of your classmates. Your street will be pedestrian friendly with sidewalks, lampposts and green lawns, houses with their own unique style, all overlooked by comfortable swings on your front porch.
This description defines the Wofford approach for apartment-style housing, and, starting this fall, students and prospective students will be able to come to the campus and experience it first-hand, as the first 21 apartments (84 beds) are scheduled to be ready for occupancy.
Trustee Mike Brown ’76, whose vision of this traditional neighborhood and financial commitment were essential as the project moved through the spring and early summer, explains the thinking behind the new apartment-style housing: “The college has been committed to modest growth, and we have been studying for some time the best way to provide campus housing.
“After surveying our students, we knew that today’s seniors want more opportunities for independent living than can be provided in a traditional residence hall,” Brown says. “They have been thrilled with the prospect of new apartment-style housing at Wofford. The typical campus apartment would not complement our campus. It is a priority to keep the look traditional.”
The excitement created by the new housing development begins as soon as the visitor starts walking northwest from Main Building and the historic district. The neighborhood is located north of Evins Street, which is now undergoing major renovation.
By June, construction was well under way on first units of the development, which feature a Charlestonian architectural theme. Exterior attributes of the neighborhood will include front porches with swings and rockers overlooking grassy front yards, lampposts and other carefully designed lighting, a country store servicing the neighborhood, and pedestrian-friendly streets where parking is readily available but unobtrusive. Each apartment-style house will have its own unique style with different exteriors, giving each its own individual flair.
The floor plans for the housing units vary, but the typical apartment will include four private bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a kitchen, dinette, living room, front porch and back porch. The eight buildings in the initial phase of construction will vary in size and, as a result, will house students in groups of four, eight, 12 or 16.
“If phase one is as successful as we believe it will be, other apartments will be added in additional phases, with the goal to house the entire senior class. I can’t think of a better way of spending my senior year than sitting on my own front porch with the friends I have made over the years, thinking about the future,” says Brown.
Evins Street Renovation
The development of Wofford’s new apartment-style housing served as a catalyst for launching the Evins Street “streetscape” project. Evins Street, located off Church Street on the north side of campus, will be narrowed from four lanes to two lanes with a 12-foot wide landscaped median down the center. The median will contain historic acorn light fixtures along with beautiful new elm trees. A four-foot-wide bike lane also will be provided.