ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany State University could soon move ahead with plans to build a long-awaited performing arts center.
The Georgia House Appropriation Committee added major funding for that project and another at Darton College to the budget.
Albany State student and music senior Matthew Parker has been hearing about hopes for a performing arts center for a while.
"We have been talking about it for years. We've been wanting a new space, with a big concert hall, where we as music performers can have our own space to really hone in on our craft and produce it."
While students love the program, they say the current hall where they practice can feel cramped.
"We have so many music students and we only have certain rooms that are open, and when we need them to be open sometimes they are not, and so it would be nice to have a place to call our own," said Sophomore Whitney Grier.
The House Appropriations Committee approved next year's budget after adding $19.8 million for the ASU project.
Representative Gerald Green is the Vice Chair on that committee and says he believes the money will be in the final version of the budget that's signed into law.
"I think we have the best chance we've had in a long time," said Green. "Once you put it in, and we have got to say thank you to the Governor's people for making sure that it was in there. And things have just sort of worked its way for all of us."
Mayor Dorothy Hubbard said this would be a great benefit to Albany.
"I am delighted to hear that Albany State and Darton are on board to get some additional funds to do the things that they need to do," said Hubbard.