published Friday, September 9th, 2011

New dorm opens

The resident director of Medlin Dorm at Lee University leads some of his charges in a call and response song and dance game while waiting for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for New Hughes Hall to begin in Cleveland, Tenn., on Thursday. The dormitory is named after a former president of Lee University and several of his family members were in attendance.
The resident director of Medlin Dorm at Lee University leads some of his charges in a call and response song and dance game while waiting for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for New Hughes Hall to begin in Cleveland, Tenn., on Thursday. The dormitory is named after a former president of Lee University and several of his family members were in attendance.
Photo by Alex Washburn.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Lee University dedicated its latest residence hall Thursday.

Hughes Hall, named for the late Dr. Ray Hughes, a former Lee president and head of the Church of God, replaces an older dormitory with the same name. The older version was razed to make room for the campus's new science and math building.

The men's dormitory has a 126-bed capacity and opened in time for the fall semester.

It could be the last dormitory for several years for Lee, President Paul Conn said.

"We are just trying to keep up with our growth," Conn said. "Our board of directors designated we should have no more than twice as many students as we have dorm spaces. That's kind of the formula we are growing by. So we have over 4,000 graduates and 2,000 beds."

"We don't have plans for any new dorms," Conn said.

The new dorm is surrounded by Brinsfield Row, a student apartment complex only a year old.

"I'd like to not build any new dorms for the next several years. But I said that three or four years ago, and then we built the Brinsfield apartments," Conn said.

The next building dedication on campus, however, is only two months away. That will be the chapel that faces North Ocoee Street.

Hundreds of students waited Thursday for community, university and Hughes family members to arrive from a celebratory luncheon. The students passed that time with impromptu games and music.

"It's hard to put into words what they have done for our community," Cleveland Vice Mayor Avery Johnson said after a dedicatory program.

The campus is one of the showcase stops when local officials are showing the community to prospective businesses, Johnson said.

"This is one of the quality-of-life showcases for us," he said. "And part of that is so much diversity here. I think there are 40 cultures represented here."

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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