ABILENE, Texas — Abilene Christian University’s Freshman Village came another step closer to reality Friday as donors, alumni and friends of the university gathered to break ground on a new residence hall for first-year students.
Wessel Hall, named for ACU trustee Rick Wessel and his wife, Debbie (Rains) Wessel, of Westlake, will be constructed on the site of the former Gardner Hall.
It joins Bullock Hall, which opened in fall 2021, as part of the Freshman Village project, a comprehensive renovation and construction campaign.
According to an ACU press release, in later phases, the project will include renovation of other residence halls for first-year students, all to be grouped along East North 16th Street.
ACU President Dr. Phil Schubert spoke about the significance of the new facility in meeting the living and learning needs of today’s students.
“We believe this new residence hall will provide the type of environment necessary to build a vibrant campus community,” he said. “Students will study, pray and work together on these grounds. They will build lifelong relationships and develop as individuals as they grow into the Christian servants and leaders the world needs.”
The 96,000-square-foot facility, scheduled to open in fall 2023, will be four stories tall and house 350 first-year students, including an honors living/learning community and a three-bedroom apartment for a faculty-in-residence.
“We are grateful for the generosity of our donors whose investment in our students helped bring this dream to life,” Schubert said. “Their investment in this vision for campus living has played a vital role in the progress we celebrate today."