The University of North Georgia has begun construction of a 3,600-seat convocation center on its Dahlonega campus.
The university says the 103,000-square foot facility will serve multiple uses, including academic courses, physical training activities, and events such as commencement ceremonies, athletic competitions and meetings. The center also will have several classrooms and faculty offices, and the project will include a parking deck.
"The convocation center will become the new focal point for UNG social, academic and athletic events and will help ensure that our students' college experience is among the very best," University President Bonita Jacobs says.
Funds for the facility—$3.5 million for planning and design, and $29.3 million in construction—was provided by the Georgia Legislature. The university also is seeking to raise $2.5 million in private funds for the athletics areas of the convocation center.
The convocation center will replace the smaller, outdated Memorial Hall as the university's primary event center. Memorial Hall was constructed in 1960 with capacity of 1,049. At the time, enrollment at the Dahlonega Campus was only 794 students.
The university now has more than 17,000 students across five campuses. Enrollment on the Dahlonega Campus has increased to more than 7,000 students.
Officials expect construction of the center to be completed in 2018.