Student Center demolition begins

The demolition of parts of the former Student Center left piles of debris in the construction zone which used to be one of the most lively parts of campus. The Campus Center Project is projected to be completed by May 2022. // Photo courtesy of Tuna Ergan, Student Publications.

Shortly after the semester began, the Campus Center Project entered its demolition phase, meaning that parts of the former Student Center, specifically the wing housing the Office of Student Engagement, WREK and the Black Student Union, were completely destroyed. The wreckage from this destruction will be cleaned up within the next
several weeks.

Remaining parts of the Student Center that have not yet been torn down will continue to stand to later be renovated. The Technique reached out to Kristian Lockyear, third-year CHBE and the ­­­­­Chair of the Student Center Expansion Committee, for more information on the project.

When designs were being laid out in the past, many students voiced concerns about the fate of the Campanile Fountain. According to Lockyear, the current plan is that the 80-foot structure will stay where it is now, with some possible coverings for protection. However, the water feature will be altered as construction continues.

Some students may also wonder about the fate of the Class of 1985 time capsule which was stored in a brick wall of the former Student Center.

Lockyear stated, “The 1985 time capsule has been safely removed and is being kept in archives. The exact location is not known.” After construction is complete, the time capsule will be re-buried close to the new Student Center until its scheduled opening in 2035.

Lockyear sympathized with students who may feel the current demolition is an unfortunate eyesore, saying, “Construction is never an ideal thing to look at, especially in the middle of campus.” However, he believes students should stay optimistic about the needed renovation and its campus potential. According to Lockyear, Tech “had one of the lowest square-footage per student in their student center in the nation, and we desperately needed this upgrade.”

Lockyear also described how the project will improve campus and the general student experience. “Incoming students will have a new hub for campus activity that will benefit Georgia Tech as a whole. The new Student Center is going to have a significantly improved landscape with incredibly better ADA accessibility which [is often lacking] on this campus, and the inside will include a lot more study space and individual student relaxation space, unlike the current one.”

The Campus Center Project, intended to revitalize the Student Center and surrounding area, has managed to avoid potential setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is still expected to be completed by May 2022 and fully functioning by Fall 2022.

If students have any questions about the Student Center Project, they can visit the website at studentcenter.gatech.edu/campus-center-project, reach out to Dr. Lindsay Bryant, the director of the Student Center, at [email protected], or email Kristian Lockyear at [email protected]