South Georgia State College celebrated the completion of the Powell Hall renovation with a ribbon cutting ceremony on August 23, 2022. Powell Hall, one of the college's three original buildings on the Douglas Campus, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and holds a prominent place in the history of the institution.
Built in 1907, this legacy building was named for Josiah W. Powell, the second principal of the 11th District Agricultural and Mechanical School which became South Georgia College. Powell Hall was initially constructed to house the men's dormitory. Over the years, the use of the 11,624 square feet changed to hold classrooms and office space. The building has undergone multiple renovations, including in 1978. Before the recent renovations began, it housed the Academic Success Center, along with offices for student life, counseling and disability services. Several classrooms were also located in Powell Hall.
Recognizing the historical significance of the building, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved a state-allocated $3.1 million capital project. Kellerman Construction oversaw the renovation, and with the assistance of architectural firm, Cogdell Mendrala, preserved as much of the original architectural elements as possible to retain the historic integrity of the building.
In her opening remarks, SGSC president, Dr. Ingrid Thompson-Sellers said, "Behind me stands a very impressive structure. It is a building of historical legacy, wrapped in a tremendous vision, and houses some very important keys to student success."
The current renovation created spaces to include areas for individual and group study rooms for students, academic support, tutoring and disability services areas, a veteran's center, staff offices and an inviting space for students to gather between classes.
On hand to show support for the college and celebrate the revitalization of the building through their remarks were Dr. Sonny Perdue, chancellor of the University System of Georgia, along with Sandra Lynn Neuse, vice chancellor for real estate and facilities. Also present and sharing remarks were Senator Tyler Harper representing Georgia's District 7, Coy Porter, project manager from Kellerman Construction, Casey Smith, principal and COO from Cogdell Mendrala, John Henry, president of the Douglas-Coffee County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Authority and SGSC's Montrell Henderson, Student Government Association president, Douglas Campus.
"The legacy of Powell Hall began 115 years ago when students walked the floors of this building seeking out an opportunity for higher learning," Dr. Thompson-Sellers shared. "Since then, thousands of others have passed through these doors; students, faculty, staff and eight presidents. Today, South Georgia State College students will benefit from a newly renovated, technology enhanced, state-of-the-art building housing offices that will support learning and co-curricular programming linked to student success. When we cut the ribbon today this will symbolize the official opening of a newly renovated space but most importantly, the opening of a new window of opportunity for South Georgia State College's students."
For more information on South Georgia State College and the Student Success Center located in Powell Hall, visit www.sgsc.edu.
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