Georgia State University is gobbling up bits of downtown like Pac-man does power pellets. And the Panthersvilleification (it's a real word, dude) of downtown's eastern flank continued this week, when GSU officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking for the second phase of the glassy-sleek Petit Science Center on Piedmont Avenue. The $19.9 million project, called Science Park II, will rise up five stories next to the existing complex. Officials predict an early 2016 opening — and the addition of 65,000 more square feet for GSU biomedical research. This latest project hardly qualifies as epic, but it continues an encouraging trend of building (or creatively demolishing) for GSU across the burgeoning landscape of downtown.
Hardly a month goes by without news of a GSU ground-up project or large-scale renovation getting under way. Here's quick recap of some major developments:
· A new student tower called One12 Courtland and the renovation of an ailing Ramada Inn recently wrapped, providing 1,000 student beds and more than 4,000 square feet of retail.
· GSU's proposed Turner Field mega-overhaul remains years in the distance, if it happens, though none other than Hizzoner Kasim Reed has said he's leaning toward letting GSU take control of The Ted's carcass.
· Just last month, GSU announced plans for a Creative Media Industries Institute — a sort of incubator for starving artists — to transform the former SunTrust Bank Building at the corner of Edgewood Avenue and Park Place. In terms of vibrancy and pedestrian traffic, that could do wonders for neighboring Woodruff Park.
· Speaking of, the GSU College of Law's modernistic, 200,000-square-foot home is rising about a block from Woodruff Park. Highlights will include 21 state-of-the-art classrooms, a 230-seat "formal moot courtroom" and a "law library of the future." (Their words).
· Lest we forget a plan that calls for addition by subtraction. Late last year, GSU officials unveiled a vision to tear down an 80-year-old building that houses Kell Hall and replace it with a green corridor, with a lawn where students, faculty and staff could gather and play bongos. The park-like lawn would be part of GSU's new campus master plan, which school leaders hope will transform the core of the university. It would also provide a green link between Woodruff Park and a planned courtyard near, you guessed it, the Petit Science Center.
· Breaking news: Georgia State University [FB]
· GSU's Efforts to Enliven Woodruff Park Area Continue [Curbed Atlanta]
· GSU Plans To Demolish Aged Hall, Build A 'Campus Green' [Curbed]