CSU-East almost ready for classes

By Curt Yeomans


A Clayton State University audio-visual technician, Bennett Liles, plugged his test-signal generator into the main control podium in one of the classrooms at the new Clayton State University-East campus in Morrow on Tuesday, to make sure everything was working just right.

What was immediately projected on the wall at the front of the classroom was a bright set of color bars in rich red, purple, blue, green, yellow and black shades.

"That's a nice, new lamp," Liles said of the lamp inside the projector. "After about 800 hours of use, those colors will start to look a little muddy, though."

When Clayton State University begins the fall 2009 semester on Monday, it will be doing so at two campuses in its hometown of Morrow. The university has converted the 12-acre campus on Trammell Road in Morrow that formerly housed Atlanta Bible College into Clayton State University-East.

The campus is only a couple of blocks east of the university's main campus, and it includes four classrooms and an auditorium which add a total of 308 seats for academic and community use, according to Clayton State University Spokesman John Shiffert.

As the fall semester approaches, workers from Clayton State's departments of Facilities Management and Media and Printing Services - which oversees audio-visual equipment for the school - have been working to get the new campus ready for the first day of class.

For at least the first semester under its new name, Clayton State University-East will only house evening classes, and possibly some performances by the university's theater group, Shiffert said. He said possible future uses for the campus include holding day classes. He said that officials may also utilize it as additional space for Clayton State's Continuing Education department, although he said he is not aware of any decisions having been made.

The apartment building on the campus may be used to house visiting professors, Shiffert said.

"With the growth of the university, finding available space for all of these students is something we have to deal with," Shiffert said, referring also to recent establishments of satellite locations in Fayette, Henry and Rockdale counties. "While the main campus is in Clayton County, we do serve a larger area."

Each classroom at CSU-East will have a podium that Liles said will serve as the "audio-visual center" for the room. Each podium has DVD and video cassette players, a document camera, Internet access, plugs to hook up a laptop computer and a control panel to oversee all of the equipment, including the overhead projector for the classroom, Liles said.

Most of what is left to be done at this point is the installation of white board and projection screens, Shiffert said. "According to [university Facilities Management Administrator] Sandy Haught, all of the white boards should be installed by the end of next week," Shiffert said.

The University System of Georgia's Board of Regents approved the purchase of the campus from the Church of God General Conference, which oversees Atlanta Bible College, in March 2008 at a cost of $2.32 million, according to the university system's web site.

The Board of Regents' agenda packet for that March 2008 meeting shows that at the time of the purchase, Clayton State officials anticipated renovations to the campus to cost $432,000.

Atlanta Bible College and the Church of God General Conference has moved to McDonough, according to the small Christian school's web site.