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First look: Vision unveiled for Georgia State University’s $85M convocation center

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The Panthers basketball team would also play at the Summerhill location

A rending of a bulky glass building with green space in front and people walking around.
The northeast view of the planned convocation center.
Renderings: CBRE | Heery and Perkins and Will, via Georgia State University

Arguably one of the most influential real estate developers in metro Atlanta, Georgia State University continues to change the landscape of the city from its downtown campus and beyond.

As the school’s physical footprint expands—downtown, in Summerhill, and to its handful of satellite campuses—so does the student body.

In order to accommodate the more than 10,000 students who graduate from GSU each year, the university needs a bigger venue to hold commencements and other major events. (Past graduation ceremonies have been held at places like Georgia Tech’s McCamish Pavilion and the now-demolished Georgia Dome.)

Today, GSU officials unveiled renderings depicting what the school’s new $85 million convocation center could look like.

Another rendering showing a very basic geometric building.
The view from the southeast.

The facility would rise at the northwest corner of Fulton Street and Capitol Avenue, just north of Summerhill’s Georgia State Stadium—formerly Turner Field.

That’s across the street from the Ramada Plaza hotel, on a site that used to house a Georgia Department of Driver Services trailer and its ragtag parking lots—the butt of countless transplants’ jokes.

Designed by Atlanta-based architects CBRE | Heery and Perkins + Will, the arena would feature a glassy, geometric facade with windows that peer into a sprawling auditorium.

In this rendering, stadium seating is visible through the ground-level windows at the new convocation center.
A nighttime view of the building.

The space, which would look north toward the downtown skyline, would also have “a customizable interior that can be configured to accommodate various kinds of events,” according to a GSU blog post.

The convocation center would also house the home court for Panthers’s basketball games.

GSU officials told Curbed Atlanta that the planned building could seat between 7,500 and 8,000 people, depending upon the configuration—“an enormous improvement over the sports arena’s capacity of 3,854,” said the post.

Construction could launch next summer and is slated to be completed in 2022.

This story was updated on September 19, 2019 at 3:45 p.m. to include a response from GSU officials regarding the planned convocation center’s seating capacity.