Tech Square phase 3 development launches

Construction for the two new buildings in Tech Square is underway between Fifth, Spring and W Peachtree St. The business building will be named after alum Ernest Scheller Jr., and the ISyE building will be named after alumni Bill and Penny George. // Photo by Alex Dubé Student Publications

The Institute’s Technology Square is a nationally recognized and Tech controlled space dedicated to research, collaboration and innovation. Located in Midtown Atlanta and opened back in 2003, it encompasses over two million square feet. 

Many students are familiar with Tech Square, whether they go to Scheller for their classes or Barnes & Noble for merch, or even the CODA building for research. Students can also be found to frequent many of the restaurants and commercial shops that take up much of the space. 

In Oct. 2022, Georgia Tech announced the development of Tech Square Phase 3. Two multi-story towers are to be constructed for Scheller classes and programs and for the Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) programs, subsequently expanding Tech Square’s coverage by 400,000 square feet. 

The buildings, located in the intersection between Fifth, Spring and West Peachtree streets, are set to be named after philanthropists vital to the Institute. 

One of the buildings will be named after Ernest Scheller Jr., a principal donor for Tech, and will house the executive and graduate programs of the Scheller College of Business. 

The other building will be named the George Tower after Bill and Penny George, two Tech alumni who established the George Family Foundation and contributed deeply to the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering. 

The Institute worked together with corporations that have ties to Atlanta to successfully execute every phase of Tech Square’s development. These included Microsoft, Google, Cisco and Airbnb. 

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said, “Metro Atlanta’s diverse and thriving tech industry is the envy of many, and Tech Square has helped make that a reality.” 

The buildings have been designed in collaboration with Rule Joy Trammell and Rubio (RJTR), Eskew Dumez Ripple and Turner Constructions. Their mission is to empower Tech students, faculty and stakeholders who want to develop as leaders, advance technologies and improve the human condition, along with seeking to benefit from the growing business hub that Midtown Atlanta is becoming. The buildings are surrounded by many startups, venture capitalist firms, research labs and corporate innovations. 

Maryam Alavi, the previous Dean of the Scheller College of Business, elaborated on some of the new opportunities Tech students can expect following the buildings’ opening. 

“The new facilities of Tech Square Phase 3 will offer our students the ability to learn, collaborate, and develop in a new, innovative environment,” said Alavi. “Thanks to the generosity and support of our community, we are now better positioned than ever before to fulfill our mission of cultivating principled business leaders who thrive in a tech-driven world.”

According to Ripple, there will be a communal zone and pathway, much like the GT Connector, that connects the two buildings. He said the pathway would “continue through the building form, truncating at the podium and [spilling] into a monumental gathering space.” 

A third facet of the construction will be called The Porch. The design will be akin to Southern architecture with kinetic doors that blur the space between the inside and the outside of the buildings. The Porch is set to be a general space for socialization and the sharing and creation of ideas. 

Construction began recently, and the estimated opening date for the lower floors of the building will be early in 2026, and the higher floors are set to open later the same year. 

Anisha Rangi, a third-year ISyE major, showed her excitement for the new buildings. 

“Even though I will be graduating by the time the buildings open,” said Rangi, “I think it’s important for ISyE students to have space for more growth and innovation. As one of the leading programs that Georgia Tech has to offer, there will for sure be many more students who come to Tech hoping to be Industrial Engineers and the new space is a perfect show of faith, support and empowerment.” 

Institute President Ángel Cabrera shared some of the same views. Last year during the announcement of the new phase, he showed his support for his ISyE and Business students. 

“Hundreds of years from now when people come to Midtown and see these buildings, they will know they were built for students to learn and be innovators,” said Cabrera. 

With construction being underway, as of now, site fencing has been installed around the construction zone, and there will be some significant utility disruptions in the surrounding streets. Residents in Midtown will not have to worry, as only one lane of Spring Street will close at a time.