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Regional Engineering Program Moves to Larger Location

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Program’s Success in Statesboro, Savannah Underlies Regents’ Decision to Approve New Space; Future Plans Call for a School of Information Technology at GSU

Atlanta — October 11, 2000

The University System of Georgia’s Georgia Tech Regional Engineering Program (GTREP), introduced in the Statesboro and Savannah areas in 1999, has proven so successful that the program now requires additional space in order to meet increasing demand.

Today the Board of Regents approved a request by System officials and its own Facilities Committee to sign a lease for new office space to accommodate the growing GTREP program, which offers undergraduate degrees in computer engineering and civil engineering.

The regents approved the rental agreement at their October meeting, held yesterday and today (Oct. 10-11) on the campus of South Georgia College, in Douglas.

The agreement, between Crocker Realty Trust of Savannah and the Board of Regents, will provide 6,218 square feet of office space in the Chatham Center office park. The lease will run from November 1, 2000, through June 30, 2001, at a cost of $18 per-square-foot annually, for a total of $111,927.

“GTREP is a robust program and the planning assumptions behind it have been validated by the success it has experienced,” William K. Chatham, the Board of Regents’ vice chancellor for facilities, informed the board. “The students are there, the demand is there and the success of the program has outgrown its current home at the Coastal Georgia Center in Savannah.”

The GTREP effort was launched after a review of current and projected needs for engineering graduates in South Georgia. The GTREP program utilizes the engineering education resources of Georgia Tech and other educational resources of Armstrong Atlantic State University, Georgia Southern University, and Savannah State University. Through a combination of classroom and laboratory teaching, distance learning, and other technologies GTREP offers Georgia Tech undergraduate degrees in computer engineering and civil engineering to program participants in Statesboro and Savannah. The program soom will begin offering master degrees in computer and civil engineering as well. Since its inception, GTREP has shared space with numerous other programs at the Coastal Georgia Center in Savannah. Having grown to about 160 students, GTREP soon will exceed the space available at the Coastal Georgia Center.

Daniel S. Papp, senior vice chancellor for Academics and Fiscal Affairs, said that the move to the leased space for GTREP is a temporary one. Plans are to move the program into a permanent facility to be built in the Savannah area by 2004. This $5 million facility is on the Regents Fiscal Year 2001 minor projects list, which has been submitted to the Governor’s office for consideration during the 2001 Legislative Session.

It will be constructed on land that will be donated by the Savannah Economic Development Authority. The building will be located in a technology park near the Savannah airport. GTREP will share space in this facility with the State of Georgia’s Yamacraw initiative, an undertaking that will help Georgia become a world leader in broadband telecommunications research and component design.

The regents’ Facilities Committee also heard an update on Georgia Southern University’s new School of Information Technology, which could begin offering programs by Fiscal Year 2004. The school is expected to produce 300 information technology graduates annually, and will represent another element of the University System’s program to increase the numbers of high-tech college graduates. It will be housed in a new building that will also include space for GTREP and Yamacraw.

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