Augusta Tech has always discovered ways to grow

All along the way, The Augusta Chronicle has been there to document the milestones of Augusta's premier technical learning institution: Augusta Technical College.


On July 28, 1961, the paper ran a story headlined "Inspection of school is slated," detailing how "Augusta's $500,000-plus Area Vocational Technical School will undergo final inspection tours by state and local officials at 5 p.m. today to receive its formal acceptance."

The article said it would be one of several such schools planned for Georgia, with operation set to begin Aug. 30, "with day and evening classes conducted by a nine-member faculty." George Hardy was listed as the school director.

That school merged with Richmond Area Vocational School in 1966 to become Augusta Area Technical School, according to Augusta Tech's Web site.

"The Augusta Area Technical School, Lumpkin Road Branch, has enrolled 361 students in day classes and approximately 400 in night classes," The Chronicle reported Sept. 15, 1966.

In July 1987, the college was renamed Augusta Technical Institute.

In a Sept. 13, 1987, article, The Chronicle reported that "Institute replaced school in the establishment's official name in July under the theory that the new title presents a more post-secondary flair responsive to business and industry."

In 2000, "institute" was replaced with "college." A July 7, 2000, Chronicle article offers this synopsis: "For years, Augusta Technical Institute, like so many of Georgia's technical schools, has wrestled with the stigma that its curriculum offers little more than woodworking and auto- repair classes.

"Hoping to change all that, Gov. Roy Barnes on Thursday announced a name change that he hopes will change public perception."

Since then, the college has made even more strides. It has about 160 full-time faculty, more than 4,200 students enrolled last spring, and its stringent programs include those in health and a new offering this fall for a nuclear engineering technology degree.