The corner of Cherry and Hwy 84 will soon be home to the new BSC Educational Center, thanks to a community foundation grant. Once construction is complete, Bainbridge State College will lease the new facility.
All necessary approvals for this project have been secured, and as a result, a small committee consisting of the architect, local business representatives, and leadership from Bainbridge State met recently to finalize building specifications, parking options and potential course offerings.
“Bainbridge State is committed to meeting the educational needs of all the counties in our service area,” said Bainbridge State president Dr. Richard Carvajal. “The BSC Educational Center will certainly allow us to provide outreach and bring learning opportunities to students who may not always be in a position to travel to our other Bainbridge State sites.”
The BSC Educational Center will house GED-prep courses, continuing education classes, and credit courses. The site will also have a space wherein local students can “sit in” on courses being taught at other Bainbridge State sites via classroom technology methods.
Lauren Harrell, interim executive director of Bainbridge State’s Office of Institutional Advancement said, “This opportunity comes as the perfect time as the Bainbridge State Foundation kicks off its first capital campaign. Our Deeply Rooted, Future Driven Campaign outlines projects and goals designed to fund and support new and revitalized academic programs, create additional scholarships, expansion of international education and continuing support of the Carter Arts & Lecture Series. Seminole County and the BSC Educational Center will certainly benefit from this capital campaign.”
In the meantime, students can get an early head start on their Bainbridge State degrees and certificates by attending existing sites in Bainbridge and Blakely. Plans are underway for a fundraiser to be led by the BSC Seminole County Advisory Board with the goal of raising scholarship funds specifically earmarked for Seminole County students who wish to attend Bainbridge State.
Georgia’s economic development experts now say that 60 percent of our state’s workforce must have at least a one-year post-high school credential by the end of the decade in order for Georgia to remain competitive. With only slightly more than 40 percent of Georgians now possessing that level of training, this means that many more Georgians from all career fields need to pursue higher education, and this new site in Donaldsonville will certainly help accomplish this goal locally.
“The sky’s the limit in regards to the economic impact the BSC Educational Center will have on downtown Donalsonville,” said Brenda Broom, president of the Donalsonville/Seminole County Chamber of Commerce. “Not only will the center bring increased opportunities for our students to reach their potential in their educational pursuits; but the center will enhance our downtown and serve as a central hub for more positive economic development activity as well as community development. We are already experiencing new interest in our downtown and I believe the BSC Educational Center will give us the much needed leverage to attract new businesses and other improvements in our downtown area.”
According to Shawn McGee, Bainbridge State’s Vice-President for Business Operations, construction of the BSC Educational Center is expected to begin soon. “We are excited to see this project completed and have an open house to showcase this great, state-of-the-art educational facility.”