On the annual Move In Day, Belmont announced the names of its newest residence halls during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the comples of more than 100,000 square feet.
Patton Hall was named for longtime trustee Carolyn Patton, who graduated from Belmont in 1958. As for Bear House, the name is a nod to the site of Adelicia Acklen’s fabled bear pen which was in the same area. Acklen was the wealthy mid-19th century owner of the Belmont Mansion. Last summer, before work began on the building, archaeologists found the remains of the the actual pen.
The newest addition to Belmont housing, which opened last weekend, provides living space for more than 400 students and completes the university’s freshman quad, an initiative placing nearly all first-year students in the heart of campus. The new residence halls are adjacent to Maple Hall, which opened fall 2008.
“Creating a community for our freshmen at the core of campus will enable us to enhance our living-learning experiences,” said former provost Dr. Marcia McDonald. “We anticipate opportunities for extended student-faculty dialogues and exchanges around our innovative First Year Seminars, most of which will be taught in classrooms in these residence halls.”
Lacey Phillips, residence director of Patton and Bear House halls, said she is excited to start this year with new adventures in new housing.
Phillips is also optimistic about what the facility will offer freshman students.
The dorm is environmentally friendly with water source heat pumps and air conditioning as well as green flooring and paint.
An underground tunnel connects the new hall with Maple Hall, the university’s second newest residence hall. The tunnel houses a laundry facility for all three complexes.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher calls the dorms a “unique and innovative space.”
“Belmont University continues to grow at a remarkable rate,” he said. “It’s important that Belmont remains student-centered, placing our students’ needs first even as we experience significant enrollment increases.”