Limestone bracing for record attendance
Limestone College will have more than 1,000 students attending classes in its day program this fall for the first time in its 168-year history.
The incoming class features the first members of the Limestone College football team. An estimated 120 players arrive on campus Monday afternoon for orientation before hitting the football field Wednesday to start practice for their redshirt year. The college will play its first football season in 2014.
Over the past year, Limestone has added a marching band, competition dance and cheerleading teams and an academic scholarship program to recruit more female students into areas such as science and math. The college has also started a Call Me Mister teacher education program to help recruit talented male minority students into the teaching profession.
The new programs are included in a strategic initiative the Limestone College Board of Trustees endorsed as a blueprint for future growth during its annual spring meeting last year.
It all adds up to one of the busiest school openings Limestone College vice president Robert Overton has seen in his eight years over student affairs.
Limestone will hold three orientations this week to manage an expected enrollment of 1,050 students in its day program. Last year, the college had 888 students on campus for the fall semester.
After Monday’s football orientation, students involved in fall sports such as soccer and field hockey will go through their orientation Wednesday. The college will hold a separate orientation Friday, Aug. 16, for all other students.
“We are really excited and planning for a great year,” Overton said. “Our job is to make sure students have a great experience when they come to Limestone College.”
The college purchased the Cedars and Walton Ridge apartments in February for $1.5 million near the campus to help relieve a shortage of student housing. The apartments were renovated by contractor Mc- Daniel Construction over the summer to provide housing for 100 students, increasing the college’s total housing capacity to 550.
Limestone College trustees are expected to discuss plans for additional housing and other issues related to the college’s recent growth at their fall meeting in September.
“Sodexo, our new food service vendor, has gone to a continuous service model where our dining facility will be open every day from 7:15 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. so students can come in for a meal anytime they are hungry,” Overton said. “They have also renovated the first floor of our student center at their own expense to put in additional dining facilities such as a SubConnection, which will serve items like sandwiches. We believe this will help us serve the large number of students we will have on campus this fall.”