An Oct. 19 ribbon-cutting ceremony has been set for the new Lanier Technical College campus off Ga. 365 at Howard Road, President Ray Perren said Thursday, March 22.
“Construction is going very, very well. We’d like to start taking possession of some of the buildings in the next weeks,” he said at a Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors luncheon at the Gainesville Civic Center.
Perren showed a brief video giving aerial views of the $131 million, 95-acre campus, which is expected to start classes in January 2019.
The campus will feature six buildings with a combined 335,000 square feet, compared to the 180,000 square feet on 43 acres at the current campus it shares in Oakwood with the University of North Georgia. There will be capacity for about 5,000 students.
Among the new buildings is a 40,000-square-foot conference center with a 20,000-square-foot ballroom that can house 750 people.
The campus also will have a quadrangle, or open space between four buildings, that could be used for graduation ceremonies. It’s designed to seat 5,000 people. Also, the conference center will overlook an amphitheater seating 3,000 people.
“We’re all proud of (the new campus),” said Matt Arthur, Technical College System of Georgia commissioner, the chamber meeting’s featured speaker.
Arthur, who spoke on the college system’s mission and student numbers and programs statewide, also talked about Lanier Tech’s contribution to economic development, including skills and workplace fundamental training for out-of-school youth.
He said Will Schofield, superintendent of Hall County Schools, approached state officials three years ago to see if any help could be given to students dropping out of school with no particular direction.
A program providing skills was formed, with Hall County’s Kubota Manufacturing of America Corp. “sitting there waiting on these first students in welding … and hiring them right there,” Arthur said.
“That program has progressed to now most of those kids are going back and finishing high school. Without a program like that, they would have been on the streets.”