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Clayton State to break ground for $19.8 million science building Nov. 14

MORROW — Officials will break ground on Clayton State University’s $19.8 million science building Nov. 14, during a ceremony that starts at 3:30 p.m.

The 192-acre campus’ newest building will be erected in the parking lot across from the university’s Laboratory Annex Building, which itself was opened in January 2011.

Organizers said the groundbreaking will be held rain or shine under a tent constructed for the occasion, and will be followed by a reception in the lobby of the Natural and Behavioral Sciences Building, 2000 Clayton State Blvd.

Speakers for the event, which will coincide with the beginning of construction, will include University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckab and Kevin Kuntz, president of the Southeast Division of commercial contractor McCarthy Building Companies Inc.

Clayton State President Dr. Thomas Hynes, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences Dr. Nasser Momayezi and Student Government Association President Joshua Davis are also expected. The university’s Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Micheal Crafton will serve as the master of ceremonies.

Clayton State spokesman John Shiffert said there has been a critical need for additional natural sciences labs and classrooms over the past decade with growth at the university; it has grown from 4,675 students in 2001 to more than 7,200 students today.

He said the lack of a dedicated science building, considering science courses and lab requirements in the core curriculum, also has limited the university’s enrollment.

The science building is expected to be completed in June 2015 to start hosting classes that fall.

Shiffert said the new science building will help the university meet critical needs in the Southern Crescent including nursing, healthcare managers, science teachers and entrepreneurs in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.

“This enhanced workforce will mean a boost to the economy of the counties immediate to Morrow, which provide the majority of Clayton State’s students,” said Shiffert.