GHC granted funding for a new academic building in Cartersville
According to the University System of Georgia’s “Fall 2015 Semester Enrollment Report,” Georgia Highlands College had the third highest enrollment increase in the state. With this swell in enrollment, GHC pursued funding for the construction of a new academic building with a focus on STEM-based areas of study at the Cartersville campus.
GHC was approved for funding for new construction under the fiscal year 2017 state budget approved by the Legislature. Governor Deal recently signed the budget.
The approved budget provides $17.7 million for a much-needed academic building on the Cartersville campus.
GHC President Don Green explained that with this addition, which received design funding in 2013, GHC students will be able to complete almost 15 degree programs without the need to travel to another campus location. Having this option, as well as the close proximity to I-75, Green added, gives students the access they need to complete a college degree, which continues to grow GHC enrollment and continues to foster the need for an affordable, accessible college degree in Northwest Georgia.
“The addition of this new academic building will include spaces for laboratories, classrooms, a lecture hall, study rooms and more,” he said. “This increases GHC’s ability to directly impact and support the community workforce through STEM-based degrees, and it allows GHC to better serve as the University System of Georgia’s primary access institution in the region.”
The plans for the new academic building include a 67,700 square foot structure situated on one acre at the current campus. The groundbreaking for the building is expected to be held Fall 2016.
“We had an increase in the summer, a 7.1 percent increase in the fall and a 6.3 percent increase in the spring. Being the most accessible and affordable option in the state with career-oriented degree programs is our mission at GHC. And giving our students everything they need to succeed is crucial. This new academic building helps us complete both of those objectives in a time we are seeing so much growth,” Green said.
Green added that the building will also contribute to raising GHC’s current $132 million economic impact in Northwest Georgia. GHC has five campuses across Northwest Georgia in Rome, Cartersville, Marietta, Dallas and Douglasville. He stated that the building also strengthens and broadens GHC’s ability to maintain a strong relationship with K-12 school systems across Northwest Georgia.
Vice President for Advancement Mary Transue stated that GHC received a great deal of support during legislative session, particularly as they became aware of the scope of GHC’s footprint in the northwest region of the sate, and the incredible return on investment and value GHC provides students.
“We would like to especially thank our legislators for all they do to support GHC, the USG and education in the state,” said Transue, who also serves in GHC’s Government Relations role. “Without their tireless support and dedication, this venture would not have been possible.”
Vice President for Academic Affairs Renva Watterson stated that this new building will be a great benefit to students at GHC.
“GHC is committed to serving students in the communities where they reside, and with this next building, students will be able to experience state-of-the-art chemistry and microbiology laboratories, computer classrooms, an art lab with gallery space, a well-equipped lecture hall and much more, all in an excellent teaching and learning environment,” she said.