Augusta State University celebrated its 75th birthday in a big way Tuesday, dedicating the new science center. When faculty and students moved into the $19.4 million state-of-the-art facility earlier this summer, they felt like they were going from the dark ages to an age of enlightenment.
The contrast between old and new couldn't be starker. The old quarters that housed biology, physics, chemistry and psychology classes were six asbestos-plagued World War II storage warehouses.
The new 121,478-square foot building, approved in 1994 by the Legislature, has, among many other features, 64 offices, 47 laboratories and two tiered auditoriums.
But one of the most welcomed features, notes Dr. Steve Hobbs, chairman of the Psychology Department, is windows. Windows are something you don't fully appreciate until you've been working for 20 years without them.
The dedication ceremonies, attended by many state and local dignataries, including former Gov. Carl Sanders and ex-U.S. Rep. Doug Barnard, D-Ga., sorely missed the presence of the late Thomas Allgood Sr., killed in a tragic Aug. 4 plane accident.
Augusta State President William Bloodworth was to present the Georgia regent and former state Senate majority leader with a plaque for the vital role Allgood played, not only in getting funding for the science center, but in helping to persuade regents to commit to a $65 million plan to reshape most of the ASU campus, of which the science center is just the start.
When the ambitious project is completed it will mark one of Mr. Allgood's finest legacies.