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Savannah Tech plans expansion
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Savannah Technical College President Dr. Kathy Love Thursday presented plans to the Liberty County Commission for a Liberty Campus renovation that will expand the center’s programs.

The project — converting a former preschool and daycare space in the existing building into cosmetology and barber classrooms — will be funded with about $556,000 in available SPLOST funds and $200,000 from the school’s foundation.

“I think you’re one of the few counties in the state of Georgia that actually put your money where your mouth is as far as helping the Technical College System provide facilities that you need,” Love said, thanking the county for including the school in its previous round of SPLOST projects.

Once complete, Savannah Tech and the Liberty College and Career Academy both will use the space. In exchange, Savannah Tech will use LCCA laboratories for aviation and welding programs.

Lott + Barber architect Steven Stowers provided an overview of the 5,600-square-foot suite renovation in the southwest corner of the building.

The project will involve creating new external doors and adding an aluminum canopy, Stowers said. 

Love said the preschool and daycare center programs have ended.

Commissioner Eddie Walden asked if the expansion would increase the traffic on campus.

“Right now, we are only able to do cosmetology for the high school at Bradwell Institute, so this will allow us to offer a public class, so we hope that it will increase the flow,” Love said.

After the meeting, Love said Savannah Tech will continue to offer dual enrollment cosmetology classes at Bradwell through the coming school year, but that the program will move to the Liberty Campus and open to the public in the 2013-14 school year.

Because the cosmetology program requires working on real clients, services also will be available on site.

County Administrator Joey Brown said $260,000 is available from the current SPLOST.

Sue Turner, Savannah Tech vice president of administrative services, said the letter of commitment the school received included the sum of several SPLOST funds.

Brown explained there also are unused funds from the initial SPLOST allocation for the school’s construction, and that the total is $556,141.

“The funds are already committed,” Brown said. “[Love] was just coming to inform you of what actually will happen. The funds are on-hand, and once they complete the construction project, they’ll submit an invoice to us and we’ll reimburse them.”

Love said the cost and schedule have yet to be determined because bids are still being tweaked.

The BoC also:
• Approved a $25.8 million fiscal year 2013 budget with no changes.
• Approved a Liberty County Development Authority request to pursue opportunity zone status for Tradeport West Business Center.
• Authorized the county attorney to draft an agreement for shared communication tower space with the Liberty County Board of Education.
• Tabled a request from the Hinesville Area Arts Council to install a community mural on one of its buildings.
• Made appointments to 10 boards, though denying a recommendation to appoint Flemington City Clerk Terri Willett to the Cultural and Historic Resources Committee because she is not a Liberty County resident.
• Discussed ongoing Beulah Road maintenance issues.
• Discussed handling a nuisance property on Barrington Ferry Road.

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