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Bandy Gym Renovation Project to Move Forward

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Renovation work will soon begin on one of Dalton State’s original buildings.

The college will receive $8.3 million in state funds to renovate the Bandy Gymnasium. Gov. Brian Kemp recently approved the state’s budget for the 2022 fiscal year, which begins July 1 and included the project. Approximately $800,000 was allocated to design the building in the 2020 fiscal year budget.

“When the Bandy Gym was built the college served 500 students,” said Dr. Margaret Venable, president of Dalton State. “Now we serve approximately 5,000. Although the Coach O court in the gym portion of the building was renovated several years ago with private donor support, the remainder of the building has not had a significant renovation since the building was constructed more than 50 years ago.”

Approximately one-third of the building is currently unusable because it originally contained a pool, which closed more than 10 years ago. The renovation will include making that a usable space for the campus community again by expanding the workout facility and providing an area for fitness classes. Plans also include an indoor walking track.

“When the building was first constructed in the 1960s, we did not have on-campus housing for students,” Venable said. “That has changed as we now have several hundred students living on campus. We need a recreational space and healthy activities for all our students to engage in between classes or at night or weekends, especially for those living on campus.”

The renovation will also allow the college to expand its physical education course offerings.

The renovation would not have been possible without the support of local government officials, including Sen. Blake Tiller, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Rep. Terry England, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. Dalton State is also grateful for the support from Sens. Chuck Payne and Jeff Mullis, as well as Reps. Kasey Carpenter, Dewayne Hill, Steve Tarvin, Rick Jasperse, Matt Barton, Jason Ridley, Matthew Gambill, Mitchell Scoggins and Mike Cameron.

“It was a project our delegation and others lobbied to be included in this budget because of what a great job Dalton State has done providing an affordable, quality education,” Carpenter said. “The Bandy Gym project had been in the pipeline for a few years, and I appreciate both appropriation chairmen, the leadership of the House and Senate and the governor’s office for making this project happen. It will solidify our focus on creating a first-class college experience at Dalton State.”

“We were trying to do this sooner for Dalton State, but the pandemic interfered,” Payne said. “I am thankful we had the opportunity to get this item in the budget this year. I am thankful to see this funding for Bandy because it is one of the oldest buildings on campus and so much of the building is unusable due to the pool. This is a much-needed project that the students at Dalton State deserve.”

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