Regents Pick Building Projects Georgia Southern Earns Library Upgrade

Article excerpt

Byline: Doug Gross, Times-Union staff writer

ATLANTA -- A plan to build a new computer and technology building at Armstrong Atlantic State University didn't make the cut yesterday when the state Board of Regents added construction projects to its five-year spending plan.

Meanwhile, the board approved an additional $7.5 million for an existing library expansion at Georgia Southern University, but not before an Atlanta regent questioned whether too much money is being spent at the Statesboro school.

The Board of Regents, which oversees Georgia's 34 public colleges and universities, added projects at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Georgia Tech, Georgia College and State University and Columbus State University to its five-year capital outlay budget for the years 2003-07.

The plan is reviewed annually and, as top-priority projects are completed, new university building plans are added to the bottom of the list.

Regents' policy is to keep spending on the listed projects at roughly $500 million. With yesterday's additions, about $504 million in building money currently funds 22 planned projects.

The list includes a new health sciences building at Medical College of Georgia, art and pharmacy buildings at the University of Georgia and classrooms at Savannah State University.

Armstrong Atlantic President Thomas Z. Jones had hoped to add a $23 million computer science and classroom building to that list.

He told the Regents that enrollment at the state university has slowly increased and is expected to continue climbing, making current facilities inadequate.

"If this facility existed today, 75 percent of it would be in use tomorrow,'' Jones said. "This project, in my mind, is an investment . . . in the future students at Armstrong Atlantic State University.''

The project called for a two-story, 100,000-square-foot building adjacent to the school's library, which also would be renovated under the plan. …