McDonough – Officials from Mercer University and Henry County broke ground today on a 30,000-square-foot regional education center, to be located at I-75 and exit 218 in Henry County.
The facility is being built through a public/private partnership of the Henry County Development Authority, the Henry County Board of Commissioners and Mercer University. It will be located on Henry Parkway in McDonough, adjacent to the Henry County Administration Building, and easily accessible from I-75.
"Mercer University welcomes this partnership with Henry County to develop this regional education center," said Mercer University President R. Kirby Godsey. "Henry County is one of the most progressive counties in the state, and the University appreciates this opportunity to provide quality programs that will allow individuals to achieve their educational goals."
The regional center is the culmination of more than four years of negotiation between Mercer and the Henry County Development Authority. W.L. Carter, chairman of the Development Authority, said the union of Mercer and Henry County will be a good one, both for those directly involved, and for business and professional people looking to further their education.
"Mercer University is widely recognized as one of the finest academic institutions in the South," Carter said, "We're delighted to partner with Mercer to create a facility that will serve the people and businesses in Henry County and in this region."
The regional center in Henry County will enable the University to consolidate two smaller centers now located in Griffin and Covington. Designed to accommodate 1,000 adult students at full capacity, the new facility is expected to draw students from Henry, Newton, Spalding, Rockdale, Clayton, Fayette, Lamar, Butts and surrounding counties. The campus is expected to open in time for classes in the fall of 2003.
The Center will offer evening undergraduate degree programs in education, human services, criminal justice and technology and communication. Other offerings will include non-credit continuing education courses and professional development training. The University expects the Center later to offer graduate education programs and Mercer's Public Safety Leadership Institute executive leadership development program.
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is the only institution its size in the nation to offer programs in liberal arts, law, pharmacy, engineering, business, medicine, education, theology and nursing with campuses in Macon and Atlanta and off-campus centers in Douglas County, Covington, Griffin and Eastman.
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