Regents OK GRU renovations, planning

ATLANTA — Two renovation projects at Georgia Regents University got the go-ahead Tuesday from the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents, which also approved the drafting of a new master plan for the merged school.

One project is the $2 million renovation and equipping of the second-floor corridor in the Adult Medical Center Buildings, the Talmadge and Syndenstricker buildings. Various projects over the past 10 years have improved parts of the buildings, and this latest effort is to give them a consistent appearance.

The board also authorized a $4 million update of the 7 south nursing unit to provide 20 patient rooms, nursing stations, wiring upgrades, and new heating and ventilation.

“Updated and improved surroundings will also provide for a friendlier and more positive atmosphere, which will contribute to the overall improvement in patient-care services, patient safety and quality,” according to information the school gave the regents.

The money for both will come from Georgia Regents Medical Center.

As a way to prepare for projects, the board granted permission for the university to draft a master plan for its 6.5 million square feet of buildings. The first step is a $2.5 million analysis of the buildings’ need for repairs or replacement and a projection of future space requirements.

A similar study found the original plan for the Medical Commons classroom building could be scaled back from 225,000 square feet to 177,000 with relative savings on costs, according to Phil Howard, GRU’s facilities manager. The same type of analysis after the merger showed that a classroom building Augusta State University had planned was no longer necessary when the Georgia Health Sciences University’s campus became available.

“This really is an example that illustrates the power of data,” he told the board.

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