TIFTON—Five shovels with gold-colored tips lifted dirt toward a brilliant blue sky on Wednesday morning when Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College broke ground on the new Agricultural Technology building.
Located on Moore Highway at the north end of the campus, the 19,000 square foot building is expected to be completed by October 2023.
“I want to say a special thank you to Governor Brian Kemp, members of the General Assembly, and Chancellor Sonny Perdue and his staff for being our teammates on this project,” ABAC President Tracy Brundage said. “This building will provide a technology-rich learning environment to support courses that incorporate large pieces of agricultural equipment into their curriculums.
“Best of all, this building represents one more way for us to provide a modern learning lab for our students. We pride ourselves on not just offering courses but opening students’ minds to the innovative and modern technology they will need in the workplace.”
Dr. Mark Kistler, Dean of the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, believes the building will pay great dividends for ABAC students.
“This building is the result of a lot of groundwork from many people including supporters, faculty, and staff over the past five years,” Kistler said. “The building will provide all of our students with an outstanding learning environment to prepare them for careers in agriculture, our state’s number one economic driver.”
Vice President for Finance and Operations Deidra Jackson said the $11 million state-of-the-art facility will provide the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources with more room for instruction on a broad variety of large-scale modern equipment while adding easier accessibility.
The building will feature a high-bay clear span shop to support the large-scale equipment necessary for modern agricultural engineering technology. It will also include a covered structure for livestock and animal science instruction, youth programs, equipment operation and display, and other activities that will benefit from an open-air venue.
The building will include 7,500 square feet of demonstration/multi-purpose open space, a 4,900 square foot demonstration and simulation laboratory, three faculty offices, and three classrooms.
“The design team was challenged to maximize the program and create a functional, effective design that anticipates the continuing evolution of agricultural equipment,” Jackson said.
Coupled with the renovation of Chambliss Hall, the entire Ag Enhancement project totals $14.4 million. The renovation of Chambliss Hall, built in 1971, will provide enhanced spaces for smaller scale lab and service activities as well as modern instructional space along with faculty and administrative office space.
Brundage spoke at the brief ceremony which also featured remarks by Kistler and Mike Chason, Acting Vice President for Communications and Transition.