The hall - designed for 200 to 300 students with meeting rooms, an "academic success center" and a dining area - will cost $14 million to $19 million, Simon said. Work is expected to begin in 2014.
The new hall, which Simon said does not yet have a name, will be built between Prillerman and Gore halls.
Gore Hall, an old residential building the university recently closed, will be demolished. The cost of the demolition is included in the total project estimate, Simon said.
The two project announcements came during Hemphill's first state of the university address.
Hemphill replaced longtime president Hazo Carter to become State's 10th president in July. Since then he has pushed a theme of "one message, many voices" in the hopes of getting the entire State community to rally around goals for the future.
Improving student retention and graduation rates is a major concern, Hemphill said. He said 55 percent of first-time freshman return to school for their sophomore year, and less than a quarter of State students graduate within six years.
Hemphill said these figures are not acceptable. He is confident a renewed push to bring more student housing to campus and invest in athletics will make State a more attractive place for students to come and stay.
"I think it's not only going to help with our retention, it's going to help with our recruitment as well," Hemphill said.
"Because regardless of where you go across the state, once that facility is up, the residence hall is up, you're going to see a similar level of quality in terms of the opportunities for students. I think that's going to be huge for us."
More information is available at www.wvstateu.edu.