Building A Bright Future: Armstrong breaks ground on new Liberty Center

 

Higher education will soon have a new home in Hinesville.

Armstrong State University officially broke ground on the new Armstrong Liberty Center on a sunny morning in downtown Hinesville on September 10. More than 200 community leaders, political dignitaries and Armstrong representatives attended the groundbreaking ceremony, which featured plenty of Pirate pride.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank M. Huckaby, Hinesville Mayor James Thomas, Senator Jack Hill, Representative Al Williams and Georgia National Guard Maj. Gen. Jim Butterworth each addressed the capacity crowd in attendance.

“The future of those who pass through the Armstrong Liberty Center will be brighter,” Governor Deal told the audience. “They will have the opportunity to advance themselves and their families and will help make our state even stronger.”

The Armstrong Liberty Center has experienced an impressive 20 percent increase in enrollment over the past two academic years, underscoring the growing demand for a larger building in Hinesville. The new state-of-the-art Armstrong Liberty Center will offer 21,000 square feet of learning space at the corner of Memorial Drive and Welborn Street, replacing a smaller leased facility on East General Stewart Way.

“During my tenure as Chancellor, there hasn’t been another project that exemplifies partnership more than the Armstrong Liberty Center,” said University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank M. Huckaby. “This project is a manifestation of our commitment to doing whatever we can to support veterans in Georgia. We’re focused on expanding our educational efforts to military personnel and are excited about what’s going on in Hinesville.”

The new facility will allow a strategic expansion of Armstrong’s academic programs in Hinesville and will enable the university to serve a growing student population in Liberty County. Hussey, Gay, Bell and DeYoung is the architect for the construction project, which is expected to open to students in the fall of 2015.

“The Armstrong Liberty Center is an outstanding example of community partnership,” said Armstrong president Linda M. Bleicken. “The Liberty Center not only serves active duty soldiers and their families, but it offers thousands of area residents the opportunity to get a higher education.”

The Armstrong Liberty Center currently offers associate degree tracks in liberal studies, criminal justice, business and a variety of health profession areas, as well as bachelor’s degrees in liberal studies and criminal justice. The expanded facility will include classrooms, science laboratories, faculty/staff offices, common areas, student services and support areas. The building’s design will be sensitive to the aesthetic fabric of the existing community and will complement the existing downtown streetscape.

“This is a great step forward for our community,” Hinesville Mayor James Thomas, Jr. declared. “It helps our students, it helps the military and it provides a place that will increase the quality of life in Hinesville for years to come.”