Tech campus plan in budget
Tech campus plan in budget
Date February 22, 2013
Section(s) Local News
Byline By GORDON JACKSON The Brunswick News
Lorette Hoover will be a very busy woman for the next two years if the Legislature approves Gov. Nathan Deal's proposed budget with no major revisions.
The budget includes $28 million to build campuses for Altamaha Technical College in Brunswick and Kingsland. If the two items remain in the budget, Hoover, the college's president, says she will be overseeing construction of two new campuses simultaneously.
"I'm so looking forward to it," Hoover said. "It's not a problem at all. Bring it on. We need it."
State Sen. William Ligon, R-St. Simons Island, says he has worked hard to generate support to fund construction of the new campuses.
Funding for the Brunswick campus was pulled unexpectedly last year on the last day of the legislative session and reallocated to a technical college in Fulton County.
"Last session, when funding was removed, the Legislature promised it would be in this year's budget," Ligon said. "There has been a lot of work that has gone into this."
The Brunswick campus is No. 1 on the priority list for the Technical College System of Georgia and the Kingsland campus is No. 3 on the list.
"We're appreciative the Camden County project is in the budget," Ligon said. "There was less certainty about the Camden project."
While Ligon says funding for the projects in the proposed budget is good news, he won't celebrate until the projects are approved by the state House and Senate and signed into law by the governor. There are "competing interests" for funding for projects that are not currently included in the proposed budget, Ligon said.
"We cleared one hurdle,' Ligon said. "We just need to continue to work hard on this."
Hoover says she is happy both projects have the governor's support. Deal has been a strong advocate of technical education as a way to bolster the state's economy.
Technical programs will be tailored to meet the employer needs in each county once the campuses open, Hoover said.
In Glynn County, new classes will be created to support Southeast Georgia Health System. In Camden County, programs will be created to support Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay.
"I'm glad it's being viewed very positively through the process," she said of the funding. "I'm happy it will stay in the budget. I'm going to be a very busy person."
Altamaha Technical College now rents space in Glynn County from the Glynn County Board of Education at the Golden Isles Career Academy and in Camden County from College of Coastal Georgia.
* Reporter Gordon Jackson writes about government and other local topics. Contact him atgjackson@thebrunswick news.com, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 323.