Work starts on new FC campus
By Nikki Wells
Bulldozers are rolling and the multi-million dollar Bartow
Center, an extension of Georgia Highlands College, is becoming a reality.
On July 17, a groundbreaking ceremony of the estimated $19 million project
The new 50-acre Georgia Highlands College campus will be located on Georgia Highway
20, across from the Wal-Mart shopping center in Cartersville.
This center was proposed in 1997, and currently the Cartersville/Bartow
College Foundation, created in January 1999 for the purpose of aiding
in the building of the Bartow Center, has raised an estimated $750,000.
Phase one construction will begin this fall with completion expected in
the summer of 2004.
The initial phase involves the construction of a three-story building
at an estimated 99,000 square feet.This building will encompass 25 faculty,
staff and student offices.
"With the increase of faculty offices, there will be a greater opportunity
for interaction between faculty and students," stated Dr. Randy Pierce,
Georgia Highlands College president.
The Bartow Center will feature 21 classrooms, four lecture halls, three
science labs and six administrative offices.
One prominent element of the new facility will be a bookstore that may
also include a coffee/snack shop, which could eliminate the need for a
The design for the library could possibly include both a fireplace and
Another possibility for the new center is the eventual use of wireless
Infrastructural work currently in progress by Bartow County could allow
for wireless technology on this campus in the future, but initially all
computer classrooms will be hardwired.
The current Cartersville campus will become obsolete upon the completion
of the new Bartow Center, but the Georgia Highlands College classes at the North Metro
campus will continue to be offered.
Dr. Virginia Carson, vice president of academic affairs, stated, "The
Bartow Center will offer students more programs and classes to choose
from. This facility will be a great opportunity for the region."
The master plan calls for the first building to be surrounded by eight
to 10 additional buildings.
Phase two, if approved by the Board of Regents, is an estimated $28.4
million project, which could possibly be in place in a year or so after
the first phase is completed.
The second phase plans for 122,880 gross square feet, which would include
20 classrooms, three lecture halls, 10 laboratories, faculty offices and
a physical plant facility.
According to Pierce, the northward movement of metro Atlanta's population
is "strategic to the health" of Georgia Highlands College since the new
Bartow Center will be located just north of the Atlanta sprawl.