Valdosta - The turning of the dirt makes it official, a dream nearly 10 years in the making. "This is a fantastic day," said James Bridges, Valdosta Tech President.
Valdosta Technical College has secured 16.7 million dollars to build a new, 90,000 square foot learning center. "Its all state money, state bond money," said Bridges.
The facility will be built on a vacant lot next to the main building and will take the college to a whole new level. "It's a two story building, we'll expand our programs that have grown so much," said Bridges.
Programs like business education, drafting and printing, and library services, which have all outgrown the facilities they're currently housed in. The new building will also allow the college to add a new degree program. "We are adding the child development program," said Bridges.
Over the last 10 years, the college has seen a huge increase in enrollment, yet the room needed to accommodate the students hasn't changed much. They're currently working in crowded classrooms and portable units. Even Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue recognizes the extreme need for new space, and helped secure the funding for the building. "Its not a matter of building it and they will come, we need to build it because they've already come," said Perdue.
The college is currently graduating about 700 people each year, and with this new building, even more will earn their diplomas and become productive members of South Georgia's workforce.
Construction on the new learning center should start in about three months and will be finished in two years.