College dedicates building

From the The Brunswick News

Julia Shannon, a senior at College of Coastal Georgia, wishes the 33,000-square-foot, $9.2 million Correll Center for Teacher Education and Learning had been opened last year.

"I am jealous this opened during my last semester," Shannon said Friday, standing in a crowded hallway while hundreds of people got their first look at the interior of the newly constructed building.

The crowd was gathered for the Correll Center's dedication, which brought together several hundred students, faculty, dignitaries and residents to celebrate what Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, said was a sign of the bright future for the college.

Ralston, one of a long list of speakers at the dedication, said the building marks what he believes will be the beginning of some of Georgia's greatest days, in which the college will play a major role.

The building, at the north entrance to the college campus from Altama Avenue, is named for Pete Correll, a former Georgia-Pacific chairman, and his wife, Ada Lee Correll, a former teacher.

In addition to teacher education degree programs, the building will house the Center for Service-Learning and Community Engagement, the Center for Teaching and Learning, and the Writing Center.

"This will be a center of learning this college can be proud of for years," Ralston said.

"I love this school, I love this campus and I love this community."

Hank Huckaby, University System of Georgia chancellor, also spoke and said he holds the school in similar regard.

"This college is becoming very quickly one of the rising stars of the university system," Huckaby said.

Maintaining the progress that has been made in the face of having to replace college President Valerie Hepburn will be far from easy, he said. Hepburn is leaving the college in May, at the end of the current semester, to take another position with the university system.

The college foundation has already set up a search committee to begin looking for a replacement.

"I am very mindful we have a great challenge in finding a president to replace (Valerie)," Huckaby said. "We are committed to finding the right president."

In addition to finding the right replacement for Hepburn, another goal is securing adequate funding to finish renovating Academic Commons South, the only building on campus that is not new construction or newly renovated. Hepburn has said the project would cost an estimated $2 million.

State Rep. Alex Atwood, R-St. Simons Island, who also spoke at the dedication, was recently appointed to the higher education subcommittee of the state House of Representatives Appropriations Committee.

Atwood said after the ceremony that finishing the building is on his list of wants.

"We're going to fight for (the funding)," Atwood said.

Securing the money to renovate the building, as well as securing funding for Altamaha Technical College to build its own campus in Glynn County, will be paramount to completing the educational infrastructure here, Atwood said.

"It is critical to have (the infrastructure), especially in these tough economic times," he said.

Release Date: 1/26/2013
Source: The Brunswick News