GGC expansion plans approved
Regents' plan would use $66 million to improve college campus

ATLANTA - A health building highlights long-range construction plans for Georgia Gwinnett College approved this week by the state University System Board of Regents.

Subject to the approval of the governor and legislature, who control state budgets, the campus off of Collins Hill Road in Lawrenceville would receive more than $66 million for four projects to be built in fiscal years 2012 and 2014.

About $30 million would go toward a planned health building that would contain labs and general-classroom space.

"It's primarily a laboratory building where we can teach biology and chemistry," said Eddie Beauchamp, GGC's vice president for business and finance.

Beauchamp said the building would house the college's nursing program, one of GGC's core missions.

The long-range projects at GGC, part of a $1.7 billion systemwide multi-year capital program, represent the next wave of construction at the college, which opened just more than a year ago.

Work is under way on a parking deck, which is due to open in January.

The college hired a project manager last week to oversee design and construction of a library and student center.

The library is key to GGC's application for accreditation.

The current round of building will be topped off with construction of dorms in two phases, starting late next year. The 2,000-bed project, which is a public-private venture, will be located on the west part of campus on a 20-acre area designed for student housing, recreation and playing fields.

Different floor plan models will be available to students, including suites and apartment-style spaces. The plans call for 1,000 beds to be ready in August of 2009 and another 1,000 to be available the following year.

Besides the health building, slated for construction in 2012, the long-range projects also include an addition to the college's Building C in 2014.

Beauchamp said another significant portion of the long-range funding, $22.4 million, is earmarked for roads and water and sewer lines.

He said the Regents have been just as generous toward GGC as the college grows its physical plant as they were in providing the funds needed to get the school up and running.

"They're giving us the resources we need to build out our master plan and prepare for the enrollment projections we have," he said.

SideBar: At a glance

The state university system's long-range capital program includes

$66.7 million for the following four projects at Georgia Gwinnett College:

Project/Cost/Timetable (fiscal year)

Infrastructure/$11.1 million/2012

Allied health building/$30.2 million/2012

Infrastructure/$11.3 million/2014

Academic addition/$14.1 million/2014

Source: University System of Georgia Board of Regents