Leah Seupersad, 404-413-1354
ATLANTA—Georgia State University students will return this fall to a campus with more classrooms, computer labs and a new dining hall.
While students were away this summer, construction crews have been busy working on three major projects, including a 23,500-square-foot addition to the Classroom South Building, a new dining hall at the Piedmont North student housing complex and pedestrian safety improvements on Piedmont Avenue.
“As Georgia State University continues to grow its student body, and in concert with our strategic plan, we are continually looking for ways to enhance our campus in downtown Atlanta,” said GSU President Mark Becker. “The Classroom South expansion and Piedmont North projects are excellent examples of how we are able to upgrade currently owned properties.”
Suzan Talley, project manager over the Classroom South construction, said that the $3.7 million project would be completed at budget and on time. The four-story addition to Classroom South will provide three computer labs and 15 new classrooms. The new addition, which was completed in just less than 10 months, will also add approximately 700 new classroom seats. The additional classrooms will allow Georgia State to grow by another 2,000 students over the next few years.
Chris Hughes, assistant director for design and construction, said they’re putting the finishing touches on the site.
“The major construction work is complete. The furniture and seating units have been installed, installation of the audio-visual systems is 95 percent complete, and we are making final corrections to any small issues identified in our final inspection of the building,” Hughes said. “Each new classroom is equipped with state of the art instruction technologies, affording the instructors enhanced instructional tools and providing the students an improved learning environment.”
Across campus on Piedmont Avenue, a new 325-seat dining hall is expected to open in August at the Piedmont North student housing complex. The Piedmont North complex is anticipated to house more than 900 students by fall 2011 semester.
“This project has been in the works and planning for about a year and it is exciting to see it almost completed,” said Lenore Musick, food services manager at GSU. “We are looking forward to providing another opportunity for our community to enjoy fine food in a fun atmosphere.”
The facility will feature a variety of food choices, including a Mongolian Grill that will also serve sushi every Friday, Musick said.
“The Freshman Dining Hall served over 285,000 meals this past academic year and we expect to almost double that between both locations this upcoming year,” Musick said.
In continuing response to meet Georgia State’s growing student body, the university is also completing pedestrian and student safety on Piedmont Avenue, a major street on campus that was considered dangerous by city and university officials and not conducive to heavy pedestrian traffic.
To increase the pedestrian safety the project will reduce existing four lanes to three lanes between Decatur Street and John Wesley Dobbs Avenue. The construction also consists of widening existing sidewalks and other streetscape improvements such as adding trees, pedestrian lighting and new crosswalks. GSU started the project in November 2010 and it should be completed by August.
“New wider sidewalks and trees down Piedmont are going to make it a more pleasant atmosphere for students than what we had before, slow down the traffic and provide a more safe environment,” Hughes said.
July 5, 2011