Man and machine join together in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the new Engineering Building

Eden Hodges, Managing Editor

With the construction of Georgia Southern’s new Engineering and Research building completed, GS President Kyle Marrero and a robot built by students and faculty of the manufacturing engineering department cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially open the building’s doors on Friday.

The new 140,000-square-foot facility features several new areas including a robotics lab, a welding lab, a renewable energy roof deck lab, a metal and non-metal 3D-printing area and high bay spaces that run nearly the length of a football field, according to a Monday press release.

In addition to these new spaces for students to build, create and research, the building now houses one of the few class-3 cleanrooms in the Southeast, a space for students to conduct research requiring very low levels of dust, microbes, vapors or aerosol particles that is valued at $700,000.

“The investment of the Engineering and Research Building solidifies Georgia Southern University’s commitment to students in providing a world-class education in the engineering field, while providing the space and resources necessary to facilitate such,” said Student Kristifer Bell in the release.

Marrero was joined by Regent C. Everett Kennedy III, Georgia Southern student and ROTC cadet James Miles, Georgia House Majority Leader Jon Burns and Georgia Power President Chris Womack in the ribbon cutting.

The three-story building includes 21 research spaces, six classrooms, 27 offices and four conference rooms of which two spaces were sponsored by Georgia Power and Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation.

“Today marks the culmination of years of forethought and investment from a number of state leaders, industry leaders and local advocates, who paved the way for us to be here,” said Marrero. “Leaders who, dating back to the 90s, could see the future of a growing industry, a state on the precipice of being a national leader in technology and innovation, and a critical need to develop talent in applied engineering across South Georgia.”