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Outside view of the Driftmier School of Engineering at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. (Photo/Reynolds Rogers)

Fresh from a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the completion of major renovations to the Driftmier Engineering Center on Sept. 13, the University of Georgia College of Engineering announced plans to further renovate the center starting next semester.

Completed in time for the beginning of fall classes, the first phase of the renovation project transformed the 1960s-era classrooms, laboratories and office spaces into “state-of-the-art,” instructional labs and classrooms, according to a news release from UGA.

The $5.5 million project significantly expanded the college’s laboratory capabilities and created three new modern classrooms, according to the release.

The renovation has allowed for the reallocation of existing spaces in the center. A new “Student Success Center” now houses a range of programs such as academic advising, prospective student outreach and K-12 outreach programs. A computer-lab-turned-Professional Development Center will host employer events, career counseling and workshops in the future.

Donald Leo, dean of the College of Education, said the project demonstrates the university’s “commitment to engineering education,” and will be a “launch pad for the future of our growing college.”

The second round of renovations to Driftmier will begin in January 2020 and wrap by fall 2020, according to the release. The Governor and the Georgia General Assembly have approved funding for the next phase, which will add new classrooms and a modern auditorium.

The College of Engineering has seen a large increase in enrollment since its establishment in 2012. In 2011, the college totaled around 600 students, and this fall, there are nearly 2,500 in the College of Engineering, according to the release.

“This project will significantly enhance the student experience by providing more state-of-the-art spaces,” Leo said. “With the help of the university, our alumni, friends and industry partners, I believe we’ve positioned our college to better serve our students and our state well into the future.”

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