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Deal signs bill giving OTC natural resources building the OK
W Governor Legislature Heal
Members of the media crowd around Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal after he spoke to the Atlanta Press Club in Atlanta, in this April 17, 2012 file photo. - photo by Associated Press

    A new natural resources building is in the works for Ogeechee Technical College now that Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a budget bill giving the go-ahead to the tune of $12.6 million.
    Students in the fishing and wildlife management, agribusiness, criminal justice and forensic science programs at the school are currently housed in mobile units. When the new natural resources building is completed, those programs as well as others will move into it.
    “We hope to expand the welding program,” OTC Public Relations Director Barry Turner said. “We know we need more space for it and other expansions – and the building would also provide conference space.”
    Ogeechee Tech has “the only agribusiness program in the entire technical college system,” he said, adding that the programs benefitting from the natural resources center serve a large number of area citizens.
    Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Hill, R-Reidsville, said Monday that he was very pleased with Deal’s signing the bill including the funds for OTC’s natural resources building.
    “That has been on the priority list for a couple or three years,” Hill said. “It is certainly needed. There is plenty of need (for the natural resources programs) in our area. That is well-documented.”
    Turner said now that the bill is signed and the funds are secured, plans for the building’s design will get under way. He said he hopes the actual construction will begin early next year.
    “We’re excited,” he said. “It will be good to get out of the mobile classrooms and expand.”
    Hill said the funds for the natural resources building are “well-deserved.” Deal vetoed requests for the project, as well as many others for technical colleges across the state, last year.
    “There is a need for that building,” Hill said. The construction of the new natural resources building “is going to change the face of the campus. Hopefully, we can get started soon.”
    Holli Deal Bragg maybe reached at (912) 489-9414.

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