From an office inside one of the oldest buildings on campus - where "they used to keep prisoners" - Kathy Hamrick's trademark laugh can be heard. She's having fun coordinating the future of Augusta State University.
"People will tell you I laugh a lot," she said. "It's a fun job. I get up in the morning, and I want to go to work."
Sitting behind her desk in a basement-level office in Payne Hall, which has historic ties to the former Augusta Arsenal, Mrs. Hamrick says people often joke that "we're planning the university from one of the oldest holes on campus."
During the past five years, as the special coordinator for academic and master planning, Mrs. Hamrick has been one of the key planners of construction projects at Augusta State.
She was heavily involved in the planning of the new Allgood Hall, which she affectionately calls her "grandchild." She also has been involved in a classroom building that is under construction at the college's main entrance, and she had worked on a history walk.
"The history walk was my baby," she said. "I went to President (William) Bloodworth with that, and he said 'That's a wonderful idea."'
Mrs. Hamrick then had to find the money. She secured a $1.2 million state transportation grant to pay for the walk.
"I look at my job as one big math problem," she said with a laugh.
Coincidentally, she got her start in education as a math teacher. In 1996, she began working as the assistant to the president at Augusta State. She took over the school's first master plan in 1997.
This year, she's teaching a math class on top of her master planning job.
"We have so many new students, almost all of the administrative staff are teaching classes," she said. "I love teaching, and I do plan to go back before I retire."
But for now, she said, she's enjoying her role as a sculptor of Augusta State's future. Mrs. Hamrick is getting ready to work on the school's second master plan, which she said will ask, "Where will this university be in 20 years?"
She said that could include expansion of the campus to another Augusta site.
"It's almost like 1997 all over again," she said - with a laugh.
HOMETOWN: Native of Cedartown, Ga.; moved to the Augusta area in 1976
FAMILY: Husband, Gayle Hamrick, the chief judge of state court in Richmond County; two daughters, Beth and Ginger; one grandchild, John Brock, 14 months
QUOTE: "I feel a little bit of a legacy there," referring to the new classroom buildings at Augusta State University, which she has been influential in planning
Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 828-3904.