Gov. Nathan Deal has approved $1.7 million in planning and design funding for the new building that will house the Richards College of Business at the University of West Georgia as part of the fiscal year 2019 state budget.
In addition to the approved design money, the UWG Foundation has received gifts and pledges of $5.65 million toward the construction of the new building, which will be situated near the intersection of Maple Street and University Drive, where Watson Hall – a former residence hall not currently in use – now stands.
“We greatly appreciate all the support we’ve received from Gov. Deal and the state legislature, and particularly our state legislative delegation, and we’re excited to begin the process of bringing this vision to reality,” said Richards College of Business Dean Faye McIntyre. “We embrace and celebrate our commitment to inspiring students as entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders, giving them the tools they need to add economic value to the communities they serve.”
The university plans to begin the design process this year, with construction to begin in 2019. The expected completion date is sometime in 2021.
The Richards College of Business – which has been its name for the past 20 years – is unique to UWG because it partners with many local, regional and national businesses while offering international opportunities. The college has awarded more than 15,000 degrees in its 50 years of existence.
The new building will be a state-of-the-art learning environment to build the workforce of tomorrow, with flexible teaching spaces, a professional business hub for experiential learning and common spaces that will foster a sense of community among stakeholders.
McIntyre said the new home of the Richards College of Business will assist the university as the college aspires to be the first choice for students seeking business education.
“This building is being designed to further our ability to prepare the business and community leaders of tomorrow,” McIntyre said. “The innovation and interaction between our faculty and staff with these amazing students require the space of tomorrow.”
Construction of the new building is expected to cost $23.5 million. UWG President Dr. Kyle Marrero said the support received from the state and other partners has been transformative.
“The new building will represent a technology-enhanced learning environment for transforming lives and building the workforce of tomorrow,” Marrero said. “We are excited to build this place where future business leaders are formed and where business gets done.”
UWG serves more than 13,500 students from across Georgia, 37 other states and 72 countries. Perennially ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top national university, West Georgia offers 88 fields of study, including business, nursing, education, STEM, social sciences and the arts. It generates a regional economic impact of nearly $520 million and provides a safe, quality and affordable college experience that transforms lives.