ATLANTA - Mercer University has purchased the Baptist Center located at 2930 Flowers Road South, previously owned by the Georgia Baptist Convention and adjacent to the University's Atlanta campus.
Officials from the University and the Convention signed papers on Aug. 21, transferring the ownership of the 25 acres and five-story facility at a purchase price of $12 million.
As part of the agreement, the Convention will remain in the building for up to three years while the Convention's new facility is completed in Gwinnett County. The University will conduct a study on the best future usage of the facility.
"The University's Board of Trustees determined the property was an important purchase to maintain the integrity of Mercer's Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus," said Mercer University President R. Kirby Godsey.
Mercer's 300-acre Cecil B. Day Campus in Atlanta houses six of the University's 10 schools and colleges: Southern School of Pharmacy, Stetson School of Business, Tift College of Education, McAfee School of Theology, Georgia Baptist College of Nursing and the College of Continuing and Professional Studies. Some 2,200 of Mercer's 7,300 student enrollment attend classes on the campus, where the primary academic focus is graduate and professional studies.
"We are happy that Mercer acquired the property for its future use and expansion. The sale also provides revenues to assist the Convention in securing the property and facilities for our site at Sugarloaf Parkway and Satellite Boulevard," said J. Robert White, executive director, Georgia Baptist Convention.
The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners recently approved a rezoning of the Sugarloaf Parkway property, clearing the way for the Convention's project to begin in early 2004. "This will allow the Convention to more effectively serve the needs of our churches in a state-of-the-art facility well into the 21st Century," said White.
The 25 acres on which the Baptist Center stands were originally part of the Atlanta Baptist College campus, and were sold to the Convention prior to the college's merger with Mercer in the 1970s. The new purchase gives the University ownership of all of the property inside the circle formed by Mercer University Drive and Flowers Road South.
"This strategic undertaking is critically important to the future of our great university, most especially to the continued vitality and prominence of our highly successful Atlanta campus," said James A. Bishop, chairman, Mercer University Board of Trustees.
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