Gov. Nathan Deal on Wednesday signed a historic $26.2 billion budget for fiscal year 2019 that allows Clayton State to fulfill academic infrastructure improvements.
Clayton State University will receive $5.3 million to construct a new central heating and air facility for the Harry S. Downs Center, Athletics Building, and Spivey Hall. The funds will also purchase furnishings and equipment for all renovated spaces.
“We are grateful to Governor Deal, Lt. Gov. Cagle, and the legislature for providing the resources necessary to renovate our core academic space at Clayton State,” said Dr. Tim Hynes, president of Clayton State University. “And, we thank the members of the General Assembly from Henry, Fayette, Clayton, and surrounding counties whom we consider part of the Clayton State Family. Their continued support helps to make our students dreams real.”
The Academic Core project totals $14.96 million and consists of several improvements already funded by appropriations made in the last three years. State leaders have provided $1.4 million to design the project, $1.35 million to replace roofs, and $6.9 million to renovate the Arts and Sciences building, the Athletics and Health Building, and Lecture Hall.
“These renovations will leverage current taxpayer investments by lowering our utility costs and maximizing the number of seats in existing buildings,” Hynes said. “Wise investments like these will keep tuition low and allow Clayton State to continue to be recognized by publications like JAMES Magazine as a No. 1 Best Value in Georgia Higher Education.”
The Academic Core project follows Clayton State’s facilities master plan as well as the university’s five-year strategic plan, which was unveiled in November 2016 to transform academics, infrastructure, and community outreach at the institution.
Governor Deal and members of the Georgia legislature have supported the university’s master plan and previous strategic plan by providing critical investments to Clayton State’s infrastructure.
Those legislative efforts include the opening of the university’s $25.15 million Lakeview Science and Discovery Center in the fall of 2015 to offer more laboratory and classroom space for STEM education.
“We appreciate the support of the governor, legislature, chancellor and his staff and the Board of Regents,” said Corlis Cummings, vice president for Budget and Operations. “The academic core renovations will provide improved functionality for several of our classroom buildings and will greatly improve seating, technology, acoustics, lighting, and environmental conditions. Additionally, the Academic Core will enhance faculty/student interactions and student learning.”