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New Lanier Tech campus on budget and on time for 2019 opening
A rendering shows the new Lanier Technical College campus off Ga. 365 at Howard Road.

Construction of a new 316,000-square-foot campus for Lanier Technical College overlooking Ga. 365 in northeast Hall County is moving on schedule and on budget, according to state officials.

Classes are planned to start at the new facilities in January 2019.

Also, despite the reporting of different price tags on the project, officials added that there’s been no variation from the original $131 million estimate.

Lanier Tech President Ray Perren said allocations made by the state in different fiscal years and a failure to factor in money to equip the new building may have contributed to the reporting of varying cost estimates. Perren broke down the funding.

He said the first $10 million was a separate allocation for land acquisition and planning dollars, with $48 million in the fiscal year 2016 budget to begin construction and a more than $52 million allocation to complete it.

“That’s $100 million to build it, which brings all those three allocations to $110 million,” Perren said. “But we also get $20 million to equip the building.”

The state’s rule of thumb is to take 20 percent of the building’s cost to equip it, according to the college president.

“That’s the grand total,” Perren said. “We’re on budget and on time with this, and we’re very proud of that. It’s going to be a wonderful building and campus. It’s going to be a model for technical education not just for Georgia but for the country, and it’s going to be great for Hall County and Northeast Georgia.”

State Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, told The Times that the price tag has always been about $131 million.
“That’s the figure that I have worked with and been aware of for quite some time …,” Miller said. “To my knowledge, the budget has not increased. It’s been the same estimate level from the very onset.”

In the meantime, progress continues to be made on the new campus, Perren added. He said footings are in place for the technical and industrial building — the largest on the new campus. This week and next, Perren said, workers will be pouring footings for the allied health and economic development buildings.

“I’m super excited,” Perren said. “I can’t wait to take people out there for you all to see the progress on it.”