Gannon University students are making themselves at home in a new residence hall. And the unveiling of those rooms comes at a time when the university is seeing higher enrollment rates.

Briaunna Malone was live in the studio with more on the new living quarters.

Gannon University is welcoming the community to view the new residential space for students that they say reflects different aspects of Erie.

A dedication and blessing ceremony was held for the official opening of the South Hall Student Residences at Gannon University with remarks from the university president, students, and a blessing from Bishop Lawrence Persico of the Diocese of Erie.

A ribbon cutting followed shortly after and then the community received a tour of South Hall.

“The units themselves are either single, double types of units, but we have community kitchens, so they’ve already started to come out of their rooms and join together as a family,” said Dr. Keith Taylor, president, Gannon University.

Another feature of South Hall is an open space on the fourth floor with garage doors that open to give students a view of downtown Erie.

The president said the four floor building currently holds 95 students, which is timely as the university is seeing skyrocketing enrollment rates.

“As we look at growing enrollment we are at record enrollments this year at over 4,700 students. We need places for them to live, and it might as well be wonderful places like this,” said Dr. Taylor.

Not only does the building bring new life to downtown Erie, but students also say it’s convenient for their life on campus.

“My roommate, she likes to sleep in sometimes, and she’s timed how long it takes to get everywhere. Palumbo is like a minute, the rec is like a five minute walk, even getting to CBI, which was not a struggle for us last year, but it was a pretty far walk living in Finegan,” said Ella Hammer, resident assistant, third floor, South Hall.

The vice president of student experience said the building is designed to reflect Erie beach scenes from a sunrise on the top floor, to a daytime beach, to sunset and night views of Erie in the basement.