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Mars Hill University has received a $250,000 grant from The Cannon Foundation, Inc. toward the renovation of Huffman Residence Hall on the campus.
Planned for completion in August 2015, the renovation of Huffman Hall is one of several residence hall upgrades accomplished or planned at Mars Hill to keep pace with the institution’s recent growth in student enrollment.
The campus has experienced a 27% growth in traditional-age student enrollment in three years, accompanied by new academic programs, expanding emphasis on undergraduate research and a new strategic plan.
Huffman Hall is a 26,932 square-foot dormitory constructed in the 1940s, housing 136 students and staff. Total planned updates are estimated to cost $1.5 million and will involve replacement of plumbing, electrical, mechanical, fire sprinkler system, roofing, heating system, bathrooms, flooring, technology, doors and windows, and finishes. The university has already received donor gifts of $900,000 toward this project. Additional fundraising efforts are also in place.
Last semester, Mars Hill hosted ribbon cutting ceremonies for its two newest residence halls: Laurel and Dogwood halls. Laurel holds 67 male students, and Dogwood holds 47 female students. Both dorms are full for the spring semester.
Dr. Dan Lunsford, president of Mars Hill University, said: "Mars Hill has been blessed by this gift from The Cannon Foundation at a critical time, which will support our efforts to renovate Huffman Residence Hall. The Board of Trustees and administration have established a priority on the renovation of housing facilities, in addition to new residence halls. This substantial gift by Cannon is the most recent of a number of important gifts by the Foundation to Mars Hill University. "
Since 1972, The Cannon Foundation, based in Concord, NC, has supported Mars Hill University with grants totaling in excess of $1.8 million. These monies have helped fund numerous projects, including the renovation of Moore Auditorium, the construction of Pittman Dining Hall, the conversion of Renfro Library, and the purchase of science equipment for Ferguson Math and Science Center. The foundation has also made a major gift toward the planning and future construction of Day Hall, a complex which will house Mars Hill’s business department, bookstore and black box theatre.