GGC one step closer to Allied Health and Sciences building

With more than 8,000 students on campus, Georgia Gwinnett College could see the campus further expand with the addition of an Allied Health and Sciences facility that would open in 2014. The $25 million project is included in Georgia’s fiscal year 2013 budget, which will go before Governor Nathan Deal for approval.

With more than 8,000 students on campus, Georgia Gwinnett College could see the campus further expand with the addition of an Allied Health and Sciences facility that would open in 2014. The $25 million project is included in Georgia’s fiscal year 2013 budget, which will go before Governor Nathan Deal for approval.

The University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents has already approved the selection of the project’s construction management firm. The board appointed a program management firm and a design professional firm in January, and authorized the project in August 2010.

“We very much appreciate the support we have received from the chancellor, the Board of Regents, and the General Assembly for our Allied Health and Sciences Building,” said GGC President Daniel J. Kaufman. “However, nothing is final until the governor signs the budget, so we shall be patient until the governor makes his final decision.”

“This building will serve the entire student body. It will contain laboratories for allied health science and information technology courses, as well as social science courses such as psychology,” said Lois Richardson, vice president of Academic and Student Affairs. “It will also include classrooms, collaborative spaces and much-needed faculty offices, as well.”

Once the building is funded, GGC can begin designing its allied health programs, which will include a nursing program already approved by the Board of Regents. The nursing program is needed to provide a source of trained nurses for the rapidly growing health care needs of the Gwinnett region and the entire state of Georgia.

“GGC’s degree programs were selected in direct response to the workforce needs of the surrounding area and the employment opportunities available to students,” said Kaufman. “This building represents a critical step in the college’s ability to fulfill the commitment it made to the Gwinnett region and to our students. This facility is key to our long-term contribution to Gwinnett’s economic development, as well as the greater Atlanta area and beyond.”

“Georgia Gwinnett College is one of the fastest growing technology institutions in the state of Georgia,” said Jim Maran, president and CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce. “With the addition of an

Allied Health and Sciences facility to enhance the programs offered in these fields, the college is meeting a critical workforce need for one of the most opportunistic industries in the region along the innovation crescent. It is imperative to support this expansion plan for the long term growth and sustainability of Gwinnett and Metro Atlanta’s business community.”

The building also is needed to accommodate future growth. The college enrolled 8,000 students for fall semester. Projections indicate that the institution will continue growing to serve more than 15,000 students, but more space for laboratories, classrooms and offices are needed to accommodate that growth.

“This past fall, we had 1,700 juniors and seniors who required upper-level laboratory courses, and we plan to introduce a new chemistry major,” said Thomas Mundie, dean of the School of Science and Technology.  “The seven recently opened new laboratories accommodated this fall’s enrollment, but as the college continues to grow, we need facilities to meet the needs of its changing demographics. We must also meet the SACS accreditation requirement of providing facilities that support our programs.”

Mundie cited the need for the U.S. to stay competitive in the STEM disciplines – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – to be successful in the global economy. GGC is a valuable part of the conduit of students into the STEM disciplines, whether by producing graduates prepared for STEM careers or for graduate school in STEM fields, he said.

GGC Vice President for Facilities and Operations Eddie Beauchamp added that this new 90,000 sq. ft. facility would be built to the highest of standards.

“Each new building on the campus is approached with the question – ‘what does a 21st Century facility look like?’ Allied health and science facilities today must meet the demands of the next generation of students, not the last generation,” Beauchamp said. “As the ‘Campus of Tomorrow,’ we take this approach seriously and will work to anticipate the future of the health sciences disciplines in the facility design.”

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