Paine College broke ground Saturday on a multipurpose facility that will include a community center and laboratory space for biotechnological research.
Paine's 90,000-square-foot Health Education Activities Learning Complex, known as the HEAL Complex, will be at Mulherin Street and Druid Park Avenue, across from Carter Gym.
"It's indeed a historic event for the college," said Brandon Brown, the vice president for institutional advancement.
The facility, estimated to cost between $16 million and $20 million, will provide lab space and research opportunities for biotechnology, biomedicine and cardiovascular technology.
It will also allow Paine to strengthen its science department and develop programs in the health sciences such as environmental health, cardiovascular technology and health care informatics.
The complex will be more than an academic resource; it will also serve as an outreach and a resource for the community, Mr. Brown said.
The complex will focus on the community's health care needs, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes, and work with residents to prevent these conditions, Mr. Brown said.
He likened it to the college's Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel, which is used by both Paine and the community.
The complex will feature a gymnasium and a swimming pool along with its extensive classroom and lab space. The gym won't be a replacement for Carter Gym, where Paine's basketball teams play.
"It's just going to be a jewel for the community," Mr. Brown said.
No timeline has been set for completion.
Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
OTHER SCHOOLS' GROWTH
AUGUSTA STATE UNIVERSITY: New academic complex projected to be built at Wrightsboro Road campus in 2012.
MEDICAL COLLEGE OF GEORGIA: Groundbreaking for new School of Dentistry building on land formerly occupied by the Gilbert Manor housing complex is expected this summer.