The beginning of fall classes at Georgia Southern University is always an exciting time in our community. It is thrilling to see Statesboro come back to life. Every year, as we welcome the students and faculty back, I enjoy updating our readers on all the construction and changes happening on the GSU campus. Here is a look at what they will find as they return this week.
Rosenwald Museum permanent exhibits are undergoing renovations to the existing museum for cultural history and natural history and the addition of the Mosasaur exhibit. This is scheduled for completion in October 2020.
Wildlife Center Waterfowl Exhibit saw the completion of an additional outdoor waterfowl pond enclosure.
The Nessmith-Lane renovation project for the future relocation of East Georgia State College into that building will be in the programming and design stage during 2019.
Hanner improvements include an 8,500 square foot expansion by renovating the old pool area in the Hanner Complex, which will be used by the Health and Kinesiology program. This is scheduled for completion in October 2019.
The Center for Engineering and Research is currently under construction. When complete, the three-story, 132,000-square-foot building will be the new home for the Manufacturing Engineering program. The scheduled completion is Winter 2020.
Stadium lighting upgrades to LED lighting at Paulson, JI Clements and the Softball Complex are in the works. They plan to begin construction at Paulson following the 2019 football season and construction is scheduled to be complete by February 2020 for JI Clements and the Softball Complex.
Emergency generators for electrical power back up in emergencies are being added to Dining Commons.
Eagle Dining is transitioning concessions for all athletic venue events to Ibis Catering. This change will free up resources so the university can focus more on serving students in the dining program.
With concessions being privatized, it will free up the use of the university’s food trailer/truck, so it can appear at various spots on campus, hopefully filling the campus' demand for pizza options for students. They do not have a location schedule finalized yet, but plan to introduce it this fall semester.
Another benefit of freeing up staff from the outsourcing of concessions is that GSU Fans will see more promotions on game day around the University Store, beginning with Family Fun Day on Saturday 10 a.m.-noon. The Family Fun Day will include an autograph session with Coach Chad Lunsford at 11 a.m. There will be photo opportunities with GUS, bounce houses, face painting, games, and a True Blue Fan Contest.
In addition, with a University Store receipt of $50 or more on Saturday, kids 12 and under can eat free at Dining Commons.
Affordability continues to be one of the university’s primary focuses. Auxiliary Services begins the fall with the same prices that they had in 2014, so there are no increases to students once again in the health fee, transit fee, meal plan, parking permit or residence halls.
The University Master Plan is continuing on all campuses and is scheduled to be complete in September 2019.
Dining services has switched their mobile app food ordering to GATAGO from the previous vendor, Tapingo on July 1. This change provides a much more user-friendly interface for customers.
They are also increasing healthy options in all of the dining halls and offering more nutritional information on all of their menu items.
We all understand the direct economic impact Georgia Southern University has on our community, but many of these construction projects inject millions of additional dollars in the community’s GS serves. All indications are pointing to student growth again, which is another positive sign for our local economies.