A downtown campus area for Georgia Southern was Monday's topic on the "Mornings unPHILtered" show.
Dr. Ron Shiffler, dean of Georgia Southern's College of Business Administration, and Allen Muldrew, executive director of the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority, told host Phil Boyum about plans for the campus.
The campus currently is just in beginning of the planning stages. Shiffler and Muldrew agreed the building signifies a new level of cooperation between the city of Statesboro and the administration at GSU. Both agreed the stronger commitment began with the arrival of Dr. Brooks Keel, the new GSU president, back in January.
On Friday at 5:30 p.m., a grand opening ribbon cutting will officially open the new facility. The building is located next to city hall. Muldrew said the Downtown Authority hopes bring a lot more students downtown via campus activities.
At the same time, Shiffler said the college administration is excited to have another facility. By opening a new "Entrepreneurship Zone," inside the downtown campus, the college's Business Administration faculty and the Authority can offer five different plans for businesses inside the facility.
The first business is a satellite GSU Bookstore outlet, which will sell GSU gear and other merchandise. The second is an "Entrepreneurial Enterprise Zone" run by Professor of Entrepreneurship Luke Pittaway. The Zone will give students with businesses ideas a place to start up a new venture.
Other uses will be classroom and/or meeting space for student and faculty groups as well as local groups or organizations; and some kitchen facilities for holding catered events.
Also, the Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development, the economic analysis entity at the College of Business Administration, will be relocated to the downtown facility. The bureau, run by interim director Ed Sibbald, is capable of undertaking studies for corporations and businesses in this area.
Muldrew said one of the benefits of the city campus is that it can free up space on campus, by moving some functions downtown.
It also would make it more simple for residents and students to get to offices without dealing with the lack of parking that faces any visitor to the Georgia Southern campus.