GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Clemson University is celebrating an addition to their research institute in Georgetown County.
The new student housing center at the Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science holds up to eight students.
While the cottage style space isn't your typical college dorm, it does play an important role.
Graduate student Nikki Roach said, "Having the housing here makes my life so much easier coordinating with actual Clemson faculty and staff."
Roach was one of many celebrating the opening of the new dorms at the institute.
Last year students had to forget about rivalries, working with other schools for a place to live, because there weren't any dorms.
"I worked with USC folks," said Baruch.
Roach says the new living space isn't only nice, but convenient.
"I have access to docks, so I can go out here in the tidal marsh and do my surveys, so that's been super beneficial to helping me," said Roach.
All of the students will live a few feet away from the outdoors where they do research they say will help the community.
Baruch Institute Director Dr. Skip Van Bloem said, "We're trying to work on problems that affect people every day; runoff drainage, water quality, how to manage our forest sustainably."
Clemson's new President Dr. James Clements got to see some of the work for the first time.
"It's spectacular," said Clements.
He says the university has a goal of teaching the community what they know.
"Our job is to take our knowledge and expertise throughout the state. We literally work in every community across this state, making a difference," said Clements.