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GGC gets land for expansion

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Georgia Gwinnett College has expanded its campus across Ga. Highway 316.

The 7.7-acre tract of land formerly housed a Ford dealership. The Georgia Department of Transportation bought the property last year as part of its preparation for the construction of a new interchange at Ga. 316 and Collins Hill Road. As it is no longer advantageous to the DOT to keep the property, the state agency transferred the land to the college, according to a news release.

The University System of Georgia's Board of Regents voted earlier this week to accept the property transfer, along with a gift from the GGC Foundation of land that contains part of a building used by the college.

"These properties include facilities that can be redeveloped to suit the strategic needs of GGC as the college continues to grow," said Gordon Harrison, president of the GGC Foundation. "This provides GGC with tremendous flexibility for the next several years and will save significant tax dollars."

The land across Ga. 316 contains a 38,340-square-foot building. The college had the property appraised at $965,000 and could use it for academic research purposes, the news release states.

The second tract of land that was transferred to the college includes parts of Building D, located at the intersection of Collins Hill Road and Collins Industrial Way, which is owned by the GGC Foundation and used by the college.

The foundation gave the college the portion of the building containing a 45,930-square-foot space originally designed as a warehouse, the news release states. The $1.7 million property gift also includes parking lot space currently used by the college. Planned uses of the former warehouse include faculty offices and classrooms, as the college transitions through different phases of growth.

"We are making creative use of existing resources as we plan for accommodating the college's continued, dramatic growth," said Eddie Beauchamp, vice president for facilities and operations. "Legally, GGC can only modify facilities that it owns. Now that the foundation has given GGC the former warehouse space, we can begin renovating this area as critically needed flex space."

GGC opened its doors to 118 students in 2006. The college expects to enroll about 8,000 students this fall. It is in the process of hiring faculty to accommodate the larger student body, bringing its total staff and faculty to almost 900.

The deadline to apply for the fall semester is July 1. For more information, visit www.ggc.edu.