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Thomasville college expands

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July 10, 2007

Thomasville-- Tuesday students returned for summer quarter at the Southwest Georgia Technical College Thomasville campus.  This time next year students could be filing into a sister school just 20 miles down highway 84 in Cairo.

"We've had a little bit of a delay but we're real excited and I think the whole Grady community is excited," said SWGTC President Glenn Diebert.

The Grady chamber of commerce has anxiously awaited the addition.  "It's one of those things you wonder is it ever going to happen but it looks like its really getting ready to happen, we're very excited," said Chamber president Rick McCaskill.

Local support gave the school the money it needed to get back on track. The Timken company donated more than $200,000 and a local family donated part of the land.

Right now the 23.5 acre lot sits empty awaiting construction.  But in less than a year it will be home to the 2 building, nearly $1.5 million satellite campus.

A primary brick building will house classrooms, a library, resource center and offices. "We'll also have an industrial lab building and that's primarily where we're going to use the Timken money that was donated," said Deibert.  The lab will be a place to give students real hands on experience in industrial training they need. 

It's also a main goal for the school and for Cairo.  "Any time a new prospect looks at a community, one of the first things they look at is what kind of educational base do they have there.  And having site presence there will definitely help with recruitment of new industry and businesses coming in."

"It's going to make people feel like these people can take care of our training needs. So we're real excited, its an real strong piece of the economic development puzzle for us," added McCaskill.

Southwest Georgia tech officials plan to hire 3 full time faculty members and are still deciding on the anchor programs their new campus will offer.

The construction contract was awarded to Construction CGM based in Colquitt. They have 12 months to complete the project but hope to finish in nine months.

 

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