State grants facilities funding to GGC

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Officials at the state level have announced that key funding has been secured which could ensure the capacity for growth at Georgia Gwinnett College

The University System of Georgia and the state plan to grant the college a requested $25.2 million in funding for an allied health and science building. Without the new building, the college's enrollment growth would have stalled, restricted by on-campus facilities.

"The new fiscal year is a critical one for the continued, successful growth of the college," said GGC President Daniel J. Kaufman. "We are deeply appreciative that Gov. Nathan Deal, our state legislators, the USG Board of Regents and Chancellor Hank Huckaby have ensured that GGC will receive the funding it needs to serve our expanding enrollment and to help us prepare for an even bigger future."

Lois Richardson, acting vice president of academic and student affairs, said the building "will serve the entire student body. It will contain laboratories for health science and information technology courses as well as social science courses such as psychology. It also will include classrooms, collaborative spaces and much-needed faculty offices as well."

With a current enrollment of more than 8,000, college staff expect a fall 2012 enrollment of about 9,500. The state's funding also provides the college with $3.2 million for hiring new faculty to accommodate the additional students.

"Our access mission and location in Gwinnett position GGC to absorb a significant percentage of the USG's projected system-wide increase of 100,000 additional students by the year 2020," Kaufman said. "Georgia Gwinnett must continue growing dramatically for the next several years to meet that goal and ensure that the state has the educated and skilled workforce it needs for the future."

College staff said now that 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 program is needed to provide a source of trained nurses for the rapidly growing health care needs of the Gwinnett region and Georgia. College officials have already begun the search for a school of health sciences dean.