Center for Engineering and Research expected to open for fall 2020 semester

The Division of Facilities Services’ plan for the new engineering building includes flexible research spaces capable of meeting occupants’ needs.

Emma Smith

The Division of Facilities Services at Georgia Southern University is working to create the Center for Engineering and Research.

The department is working with Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission and the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia to complete the project. Construction is expected to begin Jan. 2, 2019 and be complete by July of 2020.

Matthew Shingler, director of facilities services, said the building will be located at the corner of Akins Blvd. and Forest Drive, across from the Biological Sciences building and within Parking Lot 33.

Shingler said despite the building taking up some of Lot 33, there has only been one concern voiced by a student to Facilities Services in regards to losing their parking permit.

The building will hold classes and labs for the manufacturing engineering and mechanical engineering programs.

“Because of the ever changing engineering fields, many of the research spaces within CEaR will be flexible, capable of evolving to meet the fluctuating needs of the building’s occupants,” Mechanical Engineering Chair Brian Vlcek said in an email. “It is a building that will adapt and change to the engineering research and instructional needs of Georgia Southern for the rest of the 21st century.”

Some decisions that impacted the choice for a new building include the Board of Regents’ approval for GS to start a new manufacturing engineering program and the growth of the engineering department.

Vlcek said students studying mechanical engineering make up nearly 5 percent of the university’s total population.

“The engineering programs have experience incredible growth over the last decade or two,” Vlcek said. “When I joined the Mechanical Engineering faculty in 1997, there were 120 students and four faculty members. Today there are 1,100 students and 22 permanent faculty.”

Any inquiries regarding the upcoming building should be directed to Facilities Services at (912) 478-5558.

Emma Smith, The George-Anne News Editor, [email protected]