By Leigh Ann Wynn
Warner University officially broke ground on a state-of-the-art, one hundred-bed dorm on campus in Lake Wales at a groundbreaking ceremony on December 1. With beautiful weather, approximately five hundred students, board members, and honored guests gathered together as dirt was shoveled signifying the beginning of the new project.
The 35,000-square-foot dorm is developed by Mainstreet of Carmel, Indiana. Mainstreet, a national real estate company known for its award-winning transitional care properties, is now expanding into student housing with a new arm called Vita. The layout is more like an apartment, with four bedrooms sharing two bathrooms, a living room and kitchen.
“Our mission at Mainstreet continues to be transforming lives, and as a result, we look at businesses where there is great opportunity to effect change and real need for innovation,” said Zeke Turner, founder and CEO of Mainstreet. “When you look at the similarities between the health care and student housing products nationwide, there is tremendous potential for us to make an impact with Vita.”
This first phase of the multi-phased development project, represents a $5.5 million total community investment. Planning has already begun on the second phase of the project at Warner.
“The traditional college dorm model is going by the wayside in favor of more unique housing options on campus,” said Justin Farris, director of development at Vita. “This particular project at Warner will give students a blend of the academic and social cultures and environments they want, and in turn, keep them on campus longer.”
“We believe that residential life can be an integral part of the overall college experience,” says Dawn Meadows, dean of students at Warner University. “The positive relationships, memories and skills built through dorm life impact a student for a lifetime. It is exciting to be a part of this season at Warner University.”
Construction is scheduled to be completed by August 2016.
Warner University is located five miles south of Lake Wales, Florida. The endorsed agency of the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana) was founded in 1968 by Church of God pastors and laity. For more information, visit www.warner.edu.