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July 21--  For the first time in its history, East Georgia College in Swainsboro has an on-campus residence hall.


Ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the "Bobcat Villas" student apartments were held Thursday and there's already a waiting list for the 200-student complex.

The new Chancellor for the University System of Georgia, Hank Huckaby, cut the ribbon.  "It's a great day for what we are trying to do all over the state.  We talked a lot about what it means to Swainsboro and southeast Georgia, but we all gain by what we are doing here," he said.

The new dorm brings a whole new dimension to the school according to college President Dr. John Black, "It's a complete culture change.  We have to do things we didn't used to have to do when the students came and took classes and left.  They are here 24/7 now and it's a sea-change for East Georgia College coupled with the fact we now have some four-year programs.

State Senator Jack Hill of Reidsville is happy to see the college's growth in facilities and academics.  "They've just been given an ability to grant their first four-year degree in Biology so this 24-hour housing will give them the ability to grow as well," he said.

And the Mayor of Swainsboro, Charles Schwabe, is thankful for the contributions the college makes to the city and the area.  "Just like every other little town, we're counting the pennies and revenue is important.  More importantly, the progress of this school is what we're looking for long term.  It is a boon to the community, no doubt about it," the mayor says.