The official ribbon cutting ceremony may have taken place on Sept. 8, but the grandeur of Hollis C. Franklin Hall is already well known across the Murray State University campus.
“I love H.C. Franklin because it’s big and full of potential,” said Bailey Bohannan, a Murray State student and resident of H.C. Franklin.
Currently housing approximately 380 residents, H.C. Franklin stands four stories tall and is 119,000 square feet, equivalent to the size of two football fields. The interior includes double and suite-style rooms, multiple study lounges and laundry rooms on each floor. Double rooms consist of a private bathroom, while a suite consists of four individual rooms, a common area and a shared bathroom.
The first floor features a kitchen, a classroom for the University’s Honors College and a commons area, which seats upwards of 100 people and can be split in half by a partition.
“[H.C. Franklin] is beautiful, spacious and full of opportunities to create a new and exciting community,” said Jessica Dotson, resident director of H.C. Franklin.
Design began July 2014 by Murphy Graves Trimble (MGT) of Lexington, with assistance from Marcum Engineering and BFW Engineering of Paducah. Construction started April 2015 by A&K Construction of Paducah.
The building design includes eight wings, three of which house the Honors Living Learning Community (LLC), which is reserved for honors students and three honors resident advisors.
“[Honors resident advisors] work extremely hard to create a supportive community that caters to the specific needs of their residents,” said Dotson.
Even with the new amenities that the building has to offer, the most important part of the new Franklin building is the community.
“I love that even though we moved to a new, amazing building, we’re still the close-knit community we were last year,” said Sarah Stellhorn, a returning H.C. Franklin resident.
During the Sept. 8 ribbon cutting ceremony, “community” was also the key term from several different speakers, including Murray State president Bob Davies.
According to Davies, Franklin College is the souls of the people that come together here as a community, not the number of bricks, rooms or square footage. He added, “We know [the students] will succeed, because they have learned the core root of community.”
Other individuals who addressed attendees that afternoon included Steve Williams, chairman of the Murray State Board of Regents, Carter Hearne, RCA president, Anna Hall, Springer-Franklin RCC president, and Landon Fike of the Honors Council.
According to Dotson, H.C. Franklin now consists of a diverse community that includes new students, returning Springer-Franklin residents and the Honors LLC students.
“The people are the real prize. [The H.C. Franklin community] is something that I want to be a part of,” said Dotson.