Augusta Tech's Columbia County branch is delayed

A Grovetown-area construction project that has been several years in the making will have to wait a few more months.

 

Terry Elam, Augusta Technical College's president, said the school is waiting for the state to open bidding for the construction of Columbia County Center, the school's newest branch. He said officials should start accepting bids no later than June, and construction of the $6.3 million facility on Horizon West Parkway could begin a month or two later.

A groundbreaking ceremony took place in September, and at that time officials hoped construction would start in the spring.

The project, however, was delayed until the county finalized details on a road to provide access to the facility. Mr. Elam said those issues have been resolved.

"It was just a matter of getting the (U.S. Army) Corps of Engineers' approval because it was a wetland," he said.

He said the county and the school swapped property to enable the road to be built toward Grovetown.

"The original road was between the industrial park and the campus. The road now is going to go on the other side of the campus," Mr. Elam said.

The 22,000-square-foot campus is designed to accommodate 450 students with five general-purpose classrooms, two 30-station computer labs, two multipurpose industrial labs and a meeting room.

Mr. Elam said the new campus should give the school an enrollment boost of at least 10 percent. He said construction should take about 18 months.

Augusta Technical College also has campuses in Thomson and Waynesboro.

Reach Betsy Gilliland at (706) 868-1222, ext. 113, or betsy.gilliland@augustachronicle.com.

WHAT IT WILL OFFER

The Columbia County Center will have business classes such as accounting and business office technology; general core classes including English, math, psychology and humanities courses; industrial maintenance; welding; and an adult education center.

Source: Terry Elam, Augusta Technical College's president