When classes resume at Brenau University in January, Donny Moore hopes students can further their education in a new building.
Moore, director of Brenau's Martinez campus, anticipates that construction on a new 11,000-square-foot school be-hind Georgia Military College on Davis Road will be complete by the first of the year.
"It's time we really put an investment into the Augusta area," he said. "We're excited about that."
For more than 25 years, Brenau University has offered classes in the Augusta area.
The university established itself at Fort Gordon by reaching out to military students, Moore said. That office closed in 2007.
In 2003, a Brenau office opened in Martinez in the same building that houses Georgia Military College. Both schools reached an agreement allowing Brenau to lease space at two Georgia Military locations in Columbia County.
When more classroom space is needed, Moore said, students meet at Augusta Technical College.
Work on the two-story facility started in the back parking lot of Georgia Military College, behind West Town Shopping Center, in late July.
Once construction is complete, Brenau students will benefit from a greater sense of identity, Moore said.
"All of our students will be coming to one building for class," he said.
"We won't have them scattered all over two counties to have class."
The new building will accommodate eight classrooms, a computer lab, office space, a conference room and additional meeting space.
About 260 students are currently enrolled at Brenau, and the short-term goal is to increase enrollment to 300.
For the past five years, Moore said, he has been lobbying for a new facility to make a commitment to the community and compete with similar private, nonprofit educational institutions in the area.
Brenau mainly serves working adults by offering evening classes, Moore said. The university offers undergraduate programs in education and business in addition to graduate degrees in business.
After the new school is open in 2011, Moore said he would like to see more master's programs available for students.
"When we have our own facility, then we have got to expand our offerings," he said.
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