On August 17, 2017, East Georgia State College continued their history of serving the students of their region by cutting the ribbon to open their new Academic Building Expansion. This expansion, a GO Bond-funded project, added over 13,000 square feet to the original building constructed in 1974. The building contains new state-of-the-art biology labs to support EGSC’s Bachelor of Science in Biology degree, as well as a multi-purpose 84-seat tiered classroom that adds valuable academic space to the campus.
Over 300 community members, EGSC employees, students and retirees were in attendance for the ribbon cutting ceremony and open house, and they were joined by Chancellor Steve Wrigley, Regent Laura Marsh representing the Board of Regents of Georgia, former EGSC Presidents Dr. John Black and Dr. Willie Gunn, Senators Jack Hill and Jesse Stone, Representative Butch Parrish, EGSC Foundation Chairman Denny Key, Swainsboro Mayor Charles Schwabe, and EGSC SGA President Kandanasia McNeal. The pledge was led by EGSC Police Department Chief Wiley Gammon.
“These are not just bricks and mortar, they are expanded opportunities for these amazing students to learn, to graduate and to give back to this region,” said EGSC President Dr. Bob Boehmer in his introductory speech.
“EGSC is focused like a laser each day on finding ways to increase expectations about college attendance in our region and providing a special place in our region where every student has access to that education,” Dr. Boehmer continued, recognizing Senators Hill and Stone and Representative Parrish. “Because of their tireless work in the ‘gold dome,’ we have made over $20 million in investments in this campus, from the new residence hall, Bobcat Villas – West, to this Academic Building Expansion, to the Student Center addition which will begin soon. All of that has been done without the college taking on any debt.”
“It is a great day to be here on this beautiful campus,” said Representative Parrish. “You can get one of the most affordable educations in this state on one of the most beautiful campuses with an outstanding president, faculty and support staff. I can’t wait to come back in about a year for the groundbreaking for the Student Activities Center.”
“This really is a unique institution, and the turnout this morning from the community demonstrates the linkage that has always been there from the community and EGSC,” said Senator Hill. “This is an institution that is focused on student success. All of [EGSC’s improvements and construction] is focused on student success and I think that is what makes this institution unique.”
“The community here has a lot to be proud of. The role that EGSC plays, not only in Swainsboro and Emanuel County, but the entire region providing access to many students who would not otherwise have access to higher education—I’m sure this addition will further the goals of the college,” said Senator Stone.
“This facility is so important to this community,” said Mayor Schwabe. “All of you are so important to this school. You come to campus every morning and put your best into it. You make the college look good. When the college looks good, the city looks good, and when the city looks good, I look good! This community is so proud of this institution, and today we are even prouder of what it will be tomorrow. Let’s keep moving in that direction.”
“All of you make it happen. I like the Apiary motto inside: ‘We keep this campus humming.’ Truly, you keep it humming,” said Key. “A few short months ago, we stood here in similar heat breaking ground for this addition. You were here then, and you’re here today. On behalf of the Foundation, I want to express my deep gratitude for what you all do for this college.”
“It is my honor to come before you and thank everyone who made this possible,” said McNeal. “We are glad to be a part of this expansion of our school and are looking forward to what is in store for us, the students, in the future.”
“On behalf of the Board of Regents, thank you so much to Dr. Boehmer, the faculty and staff, and the students standing out here in this heat to be able to support your school today. We are so proud of EGSC and what you have going on here,” said Marsh.
Chancellor Wrigley was the last to speak, saying “I am delighted to be here. This is a strong institution and President Boehmer is doing a terrific job. We have 28 campuses, and he is a leader among the leaders of those campuses. He is a strong advocate for this institution and I am proud to call him a friend.”
“How does this happen? There is a lengthy process,” he explained. “Competition for resources is very fierce. There are 28 institutions, but there is also the rest of state government, all vying for a small amount of resources. Governor Deal is a very strong supporter of the University System, and the three of the legislators here are strong advocates of this institution. Be sure to thank them. We wouldn’t be here today without them.”
“We can serve students because of their success,” he concluded.
After cutting the ribbon, the doors of the Academic Building were opened so that attendees could explore the new expansion. On display inside were Master Planning architectural drawings by the University of Georgia College of Environment and Design depicting ideas for the future of the campus, as well as a display featuring the bees of Bobcat Apiary. Classes were being held in the building and attendees were invited to visit the classrooms and see how the space was being utilized.
To view video coverage of the ceremony, visit EGSC’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/EastGaCollege. For photos, visit EGSC’s Flickr page at https://www.flickr.com/photos/egcpr/sets/