November 20-- As part of the Southeastern Technical College Swainsboro campus 50th anniversary celebration, the college broke ground on the site of its new health science building.
(L to R) Nate Williamson, architect for Cooper Carry; Larry Calhoun, STC Provost; Tom Hall, president of Dublin Construction; Lynda Morgan, STC Foundation chair; Don Wilkes, chairman of STC Board of Directors; Nathan Jones, Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission project manager; Cathryn Mitchell, president of STC; Ron Jackson, TCSG commissioner; State Representative Butch Parrish; Tommy David, TCSG state board member; Swainsboro Mayor Charles Schwabe; State Representative Matt Hatchett; State Senator Jack Hill; State Senator Jesse Stone.
With guests from across the state in attendance, including Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Ron Jackson, school officials celebrated the Swainsboro campus’ first addition in 10 years.
“It’s a great gift on your 50th birthday to break ground on a building that will serve your community for years to come,” said Jackson. “The building will be state-of-the-art with state-of-the-art equipment that will be incredibly important to the success of the health care industry in this region.”
The new building will house a number of programs, including an Associate of Science in Nursing program for registered nurse hopefuls, and add a health sciences library and nearly a dozen new labs to accommodate one of the college’s largest program areas.
STC President Dr. Cathryn Mitchell recognized the concerted effort it took to make the building possible, but credited two individuals in particular with some of the project’s heaviest lifting.“When you see this beautiful building, when your children and grandchildren are able to take advantage of the programs taught in this building, think about Senator Jack Hill and Representative Butch Parrish, because if not for them, this building would not be a reality,” said Mitchell.
Both legislators were gracious in their comments and spoke to the work that STC does that makes these efforts possible. Parrish made note of the new building’s ability to develop talented individuals who would stay in rural Georgia and improve the community in which they learned their craft, and Hill spoke to the potential of the college evidenced in its history.
“That’s the great thing about today,” said Hill. “We recognize the historical significance of the last 50 years, but on the other hand, what we’re really all about is the future.”
As the need for health care professionals continues to rise—around 15,000 baby boomers will turn 65 every day for the next 20 years—an investment in technical education health sciences in Georgia would seem to be a strong one, as Commissioner Jackson pointed out.
“Everywhere you go, no matter where you are in Georgia, if you have a need for medical care… and you ask the people who are caring for you in those facilities, I can almost bet you 40-50 percent of the individuals you meet came through a technical college,” said Jackson. “It’s a remarkable number of people that our technical colleges prepare for the health care industry.”