As Georgia Highlands College celebrated its new student center with a ribbon cutting Wednesday, leaders revealed plans to grow the Cartersville campus even more.
The new two-story, 55,000 square-foot student center features a game room, grab-and-go café, a two-story open-air student lounge with fireplace, two regulation-sized basketball/volleyball courts with an elevated running track above them, state-of-the-art weight and cardio rooms, the student book store, four offices, a large, 150-person capacity meeting room and a project room for student organizations.
Highlands financed it with a public/private venture—Cartersville-Bartow County Joint Development Authority issued bonds backed by a student fee of $100 per semester. Officials say students across all campuses strongly supported the fees, which will be used to pay for the bonds over a 30-year term.
"The students who voted to impose the additional fees made this facility a reality, despite the fact that most of them are no longer here to enjoy it. I think that takes vision and a great sense of community," said student Isaac Waters. "The fees not only have built this building, they also will go toward improvements to student amenities at all our campuses. Today is a celebration for and by students."
Yesterday, students enjoyed a variety of games and entertainment that highlighted a week-long celebration of the new student center.
Georgia Highlands College is a state college within the University System of Georgia, serving more than 5,700 students at five campuses in Rome, Cartersville, Marietta, Dallas and Douglasville.
The Cartersville campus opened in 2005. This year, design funding for its second academic facility was approved by the Board of Regents.
Proposals from design firms are now being reviewed by the college, and selection is expected by next month.