UGA to spend $13.9 million on Georgia Center upgrade

The Georgia Center for Continuing Education on the University of Georgia campus. UGA is set to spend $13.9 million on renovations for the Georgia Center for Continuing Education in the near future. (Photo/Joshua L. Jones, Athens Banner-Herald)

The University of Georgia will spend nearly $14 million to renovate the older part of its Center for Continuing Education and Hotel.

 

The building at the corner of Carlton and Lumpkin streets is one of the largest and most successful facilities of its kind in the country, according to information UGA submitted to the state Board of Regents.

The renovation of the center’s “Classic Wing” will include exterior and mechanical upgrades, food services, hotel rooms and interior corridors to “improve the safety and comfort of guests and staff in this part of the hotel,” according to the information.

The work will include new lighting, bathroom fixtures, improved electrical and data networking, four new air-conditioning units and new flooring and wall covering, among other things.

UGA proposes to pay for the project with reserve funds from its auxiliary operations.

The “Classic Wing” comprises about half the center’s total square footage, according to a brief description of the project prepared for Tuesday’s Board of Regents meeting. The Regents, appointed by the Georgia governor, oversee the state’s public colleges and universities.

The project won’t enlarge the footprint of the center, built in 1957 with a $2.44 million Kellogg Foundation grant and $1.9 million in state money.

The center has 200 hotel rooms and suites and 38,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space, according to the center’s website. The building also houses two restaurants and other facilities.

UGA will schedule the project in stages to minimize the impact on the center’s guests, said UGA spokesman Greg Trevor in an email.

UGA expects the Regents to authorize the project this fall, with construction beginning in February and ending in the summer of 2020, he said.

Two more UGA projects were in a $260-million list of bond-financed construction projects the Regents approved in the body’s monthly meeting.

The state will borrow $19 million for the third phase of UGA’s “Business Learning Community.” The third phase will add the final two of a six-building complex at Lumpkin and Baxter streets. The second phase is nearing completion. Donors are paying about half the learning center’s $140 million cost, according to university officials.

The bond list also includes $4.6 million in planning money for an interdisciplinary STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) building.

Several other big projects are under way or soon will be on the UGA campus. The UGA Athletic Association is spending about $63 million on an upgrade of Sanford Stadium’s west end, paid for with athletic association funds. The athletic association is the nonprofit corporation that runs UGA intercollegiate athletics, including the football team. The UGA president is chairman of the association’s board.

A $44.5 million renovation of Russell Hall, a 970-bed dormitory that opened 50 years ago on Baxter Street, is also in the pipeline.

Construction crews are also working on a $25 million building to house UGA’s new Center for Molecular Medicine.

Follow reporter Lee Shearer at www.facebook.com/LeeShearerABH or https://twitter.com/LeeShearer

 

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