After a yearlong renovation, McAlister Hall reopens to College of Charleston students this week ahead of the start of the 2023-24 academic year.

The $34 million renovation overhauled and replaced everything from the roof and stucco façade to the furniture and flooring.

“I’d like to thank the planners and architects, project managers, contractors and everyone else who brought this project to fruition,” says John Morris, vice president of Facilities Management at the College. “The building improvements will provide a great experience for our students.”

Built in 2002, McAlister Hall is one of the College’s biggest residence halls, housing more than 530 students in its 127 suites – including two-bedroom and three-bedroom floor plans – which have been completely refreshed for incoming and returning students. In fact, all the living spaces in McAlister have brand-new living and bedroom furniture, mattresses, refrigerators, microwaves, luxury vinyl flooring, water heaters, bathroom vents, windows, cabinetry, showers, vanities, fixtures and paint.

colorful bedding on a lofted bed with a window above it

McAlister Hall residents will enjoy fresh new living spaces with new furniture, windows, flooring, fixtures, appliances and more.

“They’re moving into a brand-new space – everything is new,” says Laura Lee Worrell, the project manager who oversaw the renovations. “It’s fresh and clean and ready to be lived in!”

But it isn’t just the indoor living spaces that are brand new. The building has a completely new, centralized HVAC and ventilation system that increases energy efficiency, reliability and maintenance access. A dedicated outdoor air system was also added.

In addition to general repairs both inside and out, the project also included the following replacements and upgrades:

  • new elevator cabs and controls
  • refreshed courtyard landscaping
  • an additional ADA-compliant suite
  • all new LED lighting
  • new exterior stair and breezeway railings
  • upgraded telecommunications fiber and controls

“We made some life safety improvements – with a new camera security system and a new fire alarm system that uses voice and lights in addition to sirens and sprinklers,” says Worrell, noting that the project also installed a new access control system, allowing McAlister residents to enter the building using their Cougar Card. “It was a big project. We’ve accomplished a lot, and we’re proud to say we’re ready for move-in!”